Mary Rakow

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Mary Rakow is an American novelist.


She graduated from University of California, Riverside,[1] in 1970,[2] from Harvard University with a master's degree in Theological Studies, and from Boston College with a Ph.D. in Theology. Her work has appeared in Works & Conversations.[3] She has appeared on Writers on Writing, with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett KUCI-FM.[4]

Rakow is a member of PEN Center USA/West, where she has mentored in the PEN Rosenthal Emerging Voices Program.[5]

She is a native Californian living in San Francisco.





  • "Christ's Descent into Hell: Calvin's Interpretation", Religion in Life, 43, (Summer 1974)[9]


Now this is a book that dives deep into the wreck, a book in which it is always in question whether Barbara, the protagonist, will ever be able to make sense of the moral evil at the heart of her childhood, an evil she repressed for a very long time. The book is formally daring, it is utterly disinterested in the usual cause-and-effect conceits of traditional mainstream narration, opting instead for a collage of Barbara's perception, memory, and evasion of memory, interspersed with fragments of Paul Celan and the Psalms. This is a harrowing, stunning novel.[10]


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