MY RECENT INTERVIEW
ON AVE MARIA RADIO
It was fun being on the air again, something I don’t get to do very often these days. And — even better — it was great to introduce my new novel, MY BROTHER’S KEEPER, to listeners of the more than 300 stations that carry “Kresta in the Afternoon,” AMR’s flagship daily talk show.
Give it a listen, and get back to me with your thoughts.
I’m grateful to Ave Maria Radio for such enthusiastic support of my book. A limited-run print edition was used as a thank-you gift during AMR’s spring membership drive. And it’s currently available on the AMR website.
In addition, Al gave me a great foreword to that print edition which is certainly worth sharing…
by Al Kresta
What consternation falls upon a family, a village, a society in which the Son of God presents himself as a member? Historical fiction must combine an engaging plot with well-drawn characters while also paying careful attention to the politics, customs, religious devotion, styles of clothing, civil laws and household codes, dietary habits, forms of labor and entertainment, civic rituals and the social relationships of an earlier historical period.
Bill Kassel is a veteran novelist. He can handle all that. But in My Brother’s Keeper, he has the added task of insuring fidelity to the mystery of the Incarnation. It takes unusual skill to imaginatively strive to get behind the eyes of those closest to Jesus. Or to sympathetically profile the reactions of the Pharisees who, we often forget, were the most devout of the Jewish sects.
Kassel performs all these literary tasks with grace and a light touch that draws the reader into the Palestinian social and spiritual world of two thousand years ago. What kind of sibling rivalry exists when one of the children is the Son of God? How do you educate him when he is the Wisdom of God? He created the universe, but how does he learn to work with his hands? Kassel elaborates, adapts and embroiders but never contradicts the biblical material. In the process he spins a yarn of intrigue and adventure that sets the protagonist — James, “the brother of the Lord” — struggling mightily (if mistakenly) to save Jesus from the gruesome death which we now know was the will of God all along.
My Brother’s Keeper is a creative and stimulating form of meditation that entertains like a novel but edifies like a prayer. Ave Maria Radio is helping to bring this unique work to the reading public as part of our effort to sustain (or perhaps, rebuild?) a Catholic educational/literary culture that has long been a key underpinning of our Judeo-Christian civilization.
If the author’s name is especially familiar to our listeners, it’s because Bill Kassel has a long involvement with Ave Maria Radio, having produced several programs for us, and even sat in for me on my daily talk show, “Kresta in the Afternoon.”
I believe Bill has taken a truly fresh approach to what is often called “the greatest story ever told” — imaginative and absorbing.
CEO, Ave Maria Communications
Many, many thanks, Al!
The special Ave Maria Radio print edition of MY BROTHER’S KEEPER can be obtained here…
MY BROTHER’S KEEPER is also available as an eBook from retailers Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others. The novel is 380 pages in length with a cover price of only $5.99. Additional information can be found here…