God Land: Book summary and reviews of God Land by Lyz Lenz

God Land

A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America

by Lyz Lenz

God Land by Lyz Lenz X
God Land by Lyz Lenz
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Book Summary

In the wake of the 2016 election, Lyz Lenz watched as her country and her marriage were torn apart by the competing forces of faith and politics. A mother of two, a Christian, and a lifelong resident of middle America, Lenz was bewildered by the pain and loss around her - the empty churches and the broken hearts. What was happening to faith in the heartland?

From drugstores in Sydney, Iowa, to skeet shooting in rural Illinois, to the mega churches of Minneapolis, Lenz set out to discover the changing forces of faith and tradition in God's country. Part journalism, part memoir, God Land is a journey into the heart of a deeply divided America. Lenz visits places of worship across the heartland and speaks to the everyday people who often struggle to keep their churches afloat and to cope in a land of instability. Through a thoughtful interrogation of the effects of faith and religion on our lives, our relationships, and our country, God Land investigates whether our divides can ever be bridged and if America can ever come together.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This work will resonate with any readers interested in understanding American landscapes where white, evangelical Christianity dominates both politics and culture." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Lenz is a funny, irreverent, and keen-eyed writer, who succeeds in converting us to both love and mourn the place of our country known as Middle America." - D. L. Mayfield, activist and author of Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith

"God Land is a gorgeous meditation and clear-eyed examination of Christianity in the heartland. Weaving original reporting and memoir, Lyz Lenz dispels stubborn mythologies and beautifully captures the heartbreak, hope, nuance and diversity of the Midwestern faithful. I love this book and highly recommend it. - Deborah Jian Lee, author of Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism

"God Land, Lyz Lenz's much-anticipated debut book, is a marvel. Not only is it a window into the middle America so many like to stereotype but fail to fully understand in all of its complexity, but it mixes reportage, memoir, and gorgeous prose so seamlessly I wanted to know how she did it. After laying bare all manner of losses of faith, both personal and community, Lenz journeys to a sense of hope, rooted in generosity, that is fully earned." - Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World

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Author Information

Lyz Lenz

Lyz Lenz has been published in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Washington Post, The Guardian, ESPN, Marie Claire, Mashable, Salon, and more. Her book Belabored: Tales of Myth, Medicine, and Motherhood is forthcoming. She also has an essay in the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay. Lenz holds an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University and is a contributing writer to the Columbia Journalism Review.

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