My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus
By Kelly Barth
(Arktoi Books, Paperback, 9780980040753, 240pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
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The idea of Jesus as an imaginary friend tiny enough to live in her heart comforted Barth as a child and would continue to do so throughout her life. His unqualified acceptance of her emerging sexuality so clashed with the fundamentalist church's stand on homosexuality that she wondered if she could trust his friendship. Instead of embracing her friend's encouragement, Barth found herself venturing into the very heart of enemy territory and the church's false promises of altar calls and sexual cures. For years, she lingered there until all Imaginary Jesus had been trying to tell her about herself and about life becomes too compelling to ignore. My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus speaks to this disconnect between the radical and very human Jesus of history and the church's supernatural savior. At once heartbreaking and hilarious, this book gives voice to the many LGBT people who have searched for sanctuary in a church that has largely rejected them and, in so doing, departed from the teachings of the Jesus it claims to follow.
About the AuthorKelly Barth lives on very little money in a very small house with her partner Lisa Grossman in Lawrence, Kansas. She was a fiction fellow in the University of Montana's creative writing program and has received fellowships from the Missouri Arts Council and the Kansas Arts Commission. Her work has been published in anthologies and literary journals, most recently Coal City Review, Literary Bird Journal, and Muse & Stone. MY ALMOST CERTAINLY REAL IMAGINARY JESUS is her first book