Donna Freitas biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Donna Freitas.

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Donna Freitas
Photo: Allen Murabayashi

Donna Freitas

Donna Freitas Biography

Donna Freitas has been a professor at Boston University in the Department of Religion and also at Hofstra University in their Honors College. Her nonfiction books for adults include, most recently, Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America’s College Campuses (Oxford), based on a national study about the influence of sexuality and romantic relationships on the spiritual identities of America’s college students.  Her follow up title is called The End of Sex (Basic Books, 2013). She is also a devoted fan of the celebrated British children’s author Philip Pullman, and her book about the religious and ethical dimensions of his award-winning trilogy Killing the Imposter God: Philip Pullman’s Spiritual Imagination in His Dark Materials (Jossey-Bass/Wiley) hit the bookshelves in the middle of a major, national controversy about the release of the trilogy’s first movie installment. 

Much of her writing, teaching, and lecturing centers around struggles of belonging and alienation with regard to faith, particularly among young adults and especially with regard to young women.  She loves to ask Big Questions and delights in discovering the many possible forums in which to dabble with the stuff of faith, religion, spirituality, and gender.  This attitude accounts for her venture into the world of fiction, the publication of her novel, The Possibilities of Sainthood (Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux)— about a fifteen-year-old girl who aspires to become the first official living saint in Catholic history.

A regular contributor to The Washington Post/Newsweek’s online panel “On Faith,” the religion webzine Beliefnet, and Publishers Weekly, she has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Christian Century, and School Library Journal, and she has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered. Her books also include Becoming a Goddess of Inner Poise: Spirituality for the Bridget Jones in All of Us and Save the Date: A Spirituality of Dating, Love, Dinner & the Divine

Born in Rhode Island where The Possibilities of Sainthood is set, Donna received her Ph.D. in Religion from Catholic University, and she's a non-resident senior fellow at Education Sector, a think-tank in Washington, DC. She splits her time between Brooklyn and Barcelona.

Link to Donna's website

This biography was last updated on 08/17/2013.

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Interview

An essay by Donna Frietas in which she discusses her first novel, The Possibilities of Sainthood.

Italians never tell a story in a straight line. It’s because they like to talk so much. Digressions are the hallmark—Wait, you’re telling me I never told you about the time your grandmother’s brother Geista showed up in a long black limo to the wedding and your aunt thought he was in the Mafia? Before I can go any further I’ve gotta tell you that one… The longer the story, the more reason to keep sipping that glass of wine or cup of espresso and eating more of that yummy sfogliatelle. And hands, always big, dramatic gestures with the hands.

If you could see Antonia Lucia Labella talk—she’d be gesticulating wildly. Always.

Growing up, my favorite stories of all were the ones that my mother, Concetta Lucia, and my grandmother, Amalia, used to tell about the two enormous fig trees behind the family’s Italian market—Goglia’s (it’s still open, in Bristol, RI)—where my mother spent her youth in the tiny apartment above the store. I never tired of her stories about how she got in trouble for plucking the biggest, juiciest figs for herself, and especially about how ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Donna Freitas at BookBrowse

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The Possibilities of Sainthood
The Possibilities of Sainthood

by Donna Freitas

Antonia Lucia Labella has two secrets: at fifteen, she’s still waiting for her first kiss, and she wants to be a saint. An official one. Unfortunately, the two events Antonia’s prayed for seem equally unlikely to happen...
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