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Family Fundamentals | 6.1 Author Vic Sizemore

Brad Fruhauff

Gutenberg Bible 026.1 short story author Vic Sizemore explains the larger context for his story about Christianity gone wrong. The short story “Behold I Make All Things New” is an excerpt from my novel The Calling.

The Calling is a family saga, the story of Zechariah Minor who is, in September of 1954, called to be a Baptist minister like his father and his grandfather before him. Over the years, as fundamentalist Christianity moves away from its backwoods revivalist roots, Zechariah comes to believe that it is losing its soul to commercial and political interests; he begins to suspect that everything he has founded his life on is crumbling from beneath him. As the tenets of fundamentalism fall away from him, Zechariah takes refuge in the harshest old forms of Calvinism.

It is also the story of Berna Cannaday, who becomes a Christian—and then Zechariah's wife—to get herself out of a home marked by poverty and abuse. Finally, it is the story of their children, who experience home life with an absentee father who is a slave to his calling, and an angry, unhappy mother; these children appear to be destined to join the throng of young people abandoning the faith.

“Behold I Make All Things New” picks up the story when Berna is struggling to know her duties as a wife and mother after she becomes romantically involved with a church member. She realizes that she has married Zechariah for the wrong reasons, and believes that her entire life as a minister's wife is a lie.

The first chapter of The Calling is published in Prick of the Spindle. Another excerpt is published in Portland Review, and two others are being published serially in Connecticut Review. The novel itself is casting about looking for an agent.

Vic Sizemore's fiction and nonfiction are published or forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, Story Quarterly, Sou'wester, PANK Magazine, Rock & Sling, and elsewhere. Other excerpts from The Calling are published or forthcoming in Portland Review and Prick of the Spindle. His fiction as been long-listed for the Walker Percy Prize, finalist for the Sherwood Anderson Award, won the New Millennium Writings Award, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sizemore blogs at Image journal's "Good Letters" page.