The Millions

Meghan O’Gieblyn Wryly Guides Us through the ‘Interior States’

In her preface to this often stunning, always measured debut book of essays, Meghan O’Gieblyn captures her essayistic identity in a quote from William James: “The most violent revolutions in an individual’s beliefs leave most of the old order standing.” Interior States is an examination of the Midwest and the self—a wry, ambitious catalog of what happens when a writer abandons belief yet retains a religious language and latitude.

O’Gieblyn grew up in “a dwindling Baptist congregation in southeast Michigan,complicated than liberal brands of theology because it involves the sticky task of reconciling the overlay myth—the story of redemption—with a wildly inconsistent body of scripture.”

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