Broadway extension

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My blogpal Anna Broadway has her first book out: Sexless in the City: A Memoir of Reluctant Chastity. It's an entertaining read, especially for those who grew up in the same evangelical subculture that shaped Anna's view of the world. The heart of the book is the conflict that arises as she moves out of that hothouse environment and into the Big City. The resulting collision of values helped to demolish her inadequate, sometimes idolatrous, notions of sex, love, romance, and marriage, making it possible to rebuild on a firm, God-centered foundation.

Last week, Carla Hinton, religion editor for the Oklahoman, interviewed Anna and wrote an insightful account of the conversation:

The book "Sexless in the City" is lighthearted enough that it should keep the reader laughing and wondering what Broadway is going to say next. The humor does not hinder or water down her thought-provoking message for singles attempting to maintain a chaste lifestyle in a society that says the very idea of chastity is crazy and out of touch with reality....

"I really hope that it raises questions about what the basis of our identity is," Broadway said of the book.

"You know, when I started the book, I would say I was closer to the perspective I describe in the prologue -- of being torn between wanting to serve God but thinking that sex is the ultimate experience in life. So, in other words, if I was chaste my whole life and died without having sex, I pretty much thought, even if I hadn't admitted it to myself, that I was going to die with an unfulfilled life.

"But in the course of having the blog and writing the book, I've come to realize that that's only true if my identity is rooted in my sexuality and if I believe that my sexuality is the most important part of me.

"But if my identity is based on something else, then I can have a fulfilled life no matter if I ever marry or not. My fulfillment is not dependent on the number of lovers or sexual experiences I have. I really hope that is the message people can take away from the book, regardless of whether they share all of my values or not, that they find hope in that -- that who we are as people doesn't have to be just limited to and defined by one part of us."

That same link includes a brief audio interview.

I was happy for Anna's book to get coverage in Oklahoma, but I also came away very impressed with Carla Hinton. She comes across as not only knowledgeable but also understanding of the people and ideas she writes about. That's not always true of the religion writers in the mainstream media.

Carla Hinton's Religion and Values blog is a place where she can offer more personal reflections than would be appropriate in a news story (for example, this item on her love of Vacation Bible School), provide links and additional context (e.g., this item relating to a story about bloggers who write about the Southern Baptist Convention, and summarizing reader reaction to a story (such as this entry about a story on tithing). It's a good example of a reporter using a blog to complement her reporting.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 11, 2008 10:17 PM.

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