Releases June 7, 2022

What a wonderful collection! The temptation for those who are on pilgrimage is to become a tourist, collecting junk and making photos. The tourist goes places but is not changed—a pilgrim can stay at home and be transformed. The pilgrim is traveling towards a goal “whose builder and maker is God.” Susan Cushman shares her pilgrimage with us, the insights of a journey that reveal the goal she seeks, which is the true journey of us all, as soon as we leave off being tourists.—Father Stephen Freeman, author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, popular speaker, blogger, and podcaster

With crisp prose and vivid descriptions, Susan Cushman’s PILGRIM INTERRUPTED delves deeply and unflinchingly into her dogged pursuit of holiness despite being hindered by her own need for healing and redemption. Readers of Madeleine L’Engle’s non-fiction such as A Circle of Quiet will love this work.—Jolina Petersheim, bestselling author of How the Light Gets In

Many pilgrims along the way will find in Susan Cushman a very helpful guide for this journey that never ends.—Scott Cairns, author of Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems, Short Trip to the Edge: A Pilgrimage to Prayer, and Anaphora

Having followed Susan Cushman’s writing for over a decade, in short stories, novels, essays, and memoir, I am delighted at the way this collection brings together her varied talents and gives us as readers the sense of a life deeply lived, in all its brokenness and beauty. Readers of Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Mary Karr will find solace here, as Cushman encourages us to open ourselves to understanding our own stories, and to live fully into our own becoming.—Jennifer Horne, editor of All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality and Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality. Jennifer was the Poet Laureate of Alabama from 2017-2021.

About the Book

The title essay in this collection, “Pilgrim Interrupted,” is set on the island of Patmos, Greece, during one of Susan’s pilgrimages with her husband, Father Basil Cushman, an Orthodox priest. Pilgrimages. Orthodoxy. Icons. Monasteries. It’s all in here. But so are stories about mental health, caregiving, death, family, and writing, including a section on “place,” a key element in Southern literature. And how is Susan’s pilgrimage “interrupted”? By life itself. Pilgrim Interrupted is a collection of 35 essays, 3 poems, and 5 excerpts from Susan’s novels and short stories. Coming of age during the turbulent 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi; marrying young and adopting three children; leaving the Presbyterian Church of her childhood for the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith in 1987; Susan finally began to chronicle her journey in the early 2000s. Pilgrim Interrupted is her eighth book.

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