Jesuit Book Club to Feature Fairfield MFA Faculty Phil Klay, May 27

Jesuit Book Club to Feature Fairfield MFA Faculty Phil Klay, May 27

Photo of Phil Klay

The Society of Jesus’ Jesuit Book Club has chosen the critically acclaimed debut novel Missionaries, by National Book Award-winner and MFA faculty member Phil Klay, as its book selection for May.

The live online Jesuit Book Club event featuring Phil Klay on Thursday, May 27 at 7 p.m. is free and open to the public. Those interested in participating are invited to read Missionaries along with the nationwide club starting on Sunday, March 28 and join in weekly discussions on the Jesuit Book Club’s Facebook page. Author Nick Ripatrazone will co-host the culminating May 27 live online event with Jesuit Conference Communications Director Mike Jordan Laskey.

“It’s exciting to have Klay [on board] because he’s a young writer who has already written some vital stuff,” said Laskey. “We’ll have the opportunity to speak with him specifically about the influence of his Catholic background and how he sees faith and art coming together.”

Klay’s novel was selected for the Jesuit Book Club, which is sponsored by the Jesuit Conference Office of Communications and Vocation Promotion, in part because of his many connections to the Jesuits. His nonfiction work won the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts and Letters in the category of Cultural and Historical Criticism in 2018; he currently teaches fiction in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing graduate program at Fairfield University; and Klay is a 2001 graduate of Regis High School in New York City.

Klay is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and 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; it was also 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 also on the Board of Arts in the Armed Forces.

Released this past October by Penguin Press, Missionaries was chosen by former President Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of 2020, and was also named one of “The 10 Best Books of 2020” by The Wall Street Journal. Deemed by The New York Times “an astounding novel that does not shy away from the thorny moral questions and psychological impacts of conflict,” Klay's book hones in on the ground-level consequences of American interference in Colombia’s ongoing civil war to tell a fascinating a story of terrorism, drug wars, and global conflict through the intertwined perspectives of a U.S. Army Special Forces medic, a foreign correspondent, a Colombian officer, and a militia lieutenant.


The Jesuit Book Club Presents an Evening with Phil Klay

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Online

Additional Details:

Register for free at

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