National Book Award winner Phil Klay will discuss his critically acclaimed debut novel “Missionaries” at a Jesuit Book Club online gathering on Thursday, May 27 at 7:00 pm ET (4:00 pm PT).
All are welcome and registration is free. (Sign up using the form below.)
Read “Missionaries” along with the club starting Sunday, March 28 and join in discussions in our Facebook group. Author Nick Ripatrazone facilitates the Facebook discussion and will co-host the May 27 event with Jesuit Conference communications director Mike Jordan Laskey. (You don’t have to join us in the Facebook group to attend the May 27 event, but we hope you do!)
About Phil Klay
Phil Klay is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. His short story collection “Redeployment” won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics’ Circle John Leonard Prize for best debut work in any genre and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Yorker and the Brookings Institution’s Brookings Essay series. He is on the Board of Arts in the Armed Forces. His debut novel, “Missionaries,” was released in October 2020 with Penguin Press.
Phil Klay’s Jesuit Connections
- Phil Klay’s nonfiction work won the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts & Letters in the category of Cultural & Historical Criticism in 2018. The Hunt Prize is co-sponsored by America Media in honor of the magazine’s former editor.
- He currently teaches fiction at Fairfield University.
- He is a 2001 graduate of Regis High School in New York City.
“The beautiful, violent and almost perfect new novel by Phil Klay.” (LA Times)
In the modern world, everything is connected, including how we kill.
A group of Colombian soldiers prepares to raid a drug lord’s safe house on the Venezuelan border. They’re watching him with an American-made drone, about to strike using military tactics taught to them by U.S. soldiers who honed their skills to lethal perfection in Iraq. In his debut novel “Missionaries,” Phil Klay examines the globalization of violence through the interlocking stories of four characters and the conflicts that define their lives.
“Klay’s understanding of Colombia, the main theater of war in Missionaries, is the chief source of admiration for this reviewer. There are no simple wars, of course, but the Colombian conflict is as intricate as they come. … ‘Missionaries’ is a courageous book: It doesn’t shy away, as so much fiction does, from the real world. … Is there such a thing as a ‘good war,’ like the one Mason seeks? ‘Missionaries’ is skeptical at best; it does believe, however, in fiction’s ability to illuminate these dark places. And so the novel goes on, undeterred, exploring and revealing whole human worlds that would remain inaccessible without it.”
—Juan Gabriel Vásquez, The New York Times Book Review