Book of Short Stories About Monks
January 1, 2020 12:42 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to remember the title of a book I read between 1999 and 2003 that was a collection of linked short stories (or a very episodic novel) about monks in a present day Catholic monastery.

The book was also written by a monk. One of the stories involved a monk who was a pyromaniac and one of the stories was about the monastery getting a visit from a Buddhist monk who they expected to be a man, but turned out to be a woman.
posted by Jahaza to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Could it be All We Know of Heaven: A Novel (2002) by Remy Rougeau?

"With "careful prose and a tone of humble striving" (New York Times Book Review), this revelatory first novel by a cloistered monk traces a young man's search for wisdom among the inhabitants of a Cistercian monastery. In 1973, Paul Seneschal, a shy nineteen-year-old from rural Manitoba, takes flight from the world behind the wrought iron gates of St. Norbert Abbey. Here forty monks grow their own food, wake at three in the morning to pray, and converse largely through a spare but expressive vocabulary of hand signals. Renamed Brother Antoine, Paul strives for wisdom and holiness, yet life within the cloister can't block out all of humanity's foibles. One monk lapses into pyromania; another, a French Canadian, attacks any English-speaker who gets too close; another resembles "a bald Martha Ray." We soon see that even in this rarefied realm, human folly nestles cheek by jowl with the divine. A wise yet refreshingly humorous account of a life of faith, ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN offers an a fascinating glimpse into a quiet world that very few people know about."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:15 PM on January 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes! That's it, thanks.
posted by Jahaza at 7:28 PM on January 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

« Older Give me your nostalgic, snow-covered railways.   |   For strong tea, what's better: more time steeping... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.