Saturday, January 11, 2020

Fiction: An Ex-Jesuit Who Wrote Tales of an Ironic God

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Annalisa Quinn
Bernardo Bagulho
THE HEART IS A FULL-WILD BEAST 
And Maketh Many Wild Leaps 
New and Selected Stories 
By John L’Heureux 

After death, we live on in the memories of those we leave behind, a Jesuit priest says at the beginning of John L’Heureux’s short story “Answered Prayers.” Over the course of this cheerfully grotesque tale, it becomes clear that he was right, if not in the ways he hoped. When a drunken driver kills the priest, he can’t get over the guilt. The priest’s face appears to him all the time, but especially — inevitably, horribly — when he tries to have sex. “So this was it,” the priest thinks, called away from his eternal reward to ruin the man’s night yet again. “I’m gonna be summoned every goddamn time!” This ironic deity presides over “The Heart Is a Full-Wild Beast,” a new collection of L’Heureux’s short fiction. [More]