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The Sacred and the Secular in Clay's Quilt
Notes on Contemporary Literature (2006)
  • Charlie Sweet, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Hal Blythe, Eastern Kentucky University
n a telling scene toward the opening of Clay's Quilt (NY: Ballantine, 2001), Silas House has the novel's protagonist, Clay Sizemore, heading up Town Mountain toward the Hilltop Club, the local honkytonk. As he approaches the club, Clay notices that "across the bowl that held the town, another mountain rose up" (52). The most noticeable feature on this opposite mountain is a "marble statue of Jesus with his arms stretched out in front ... so lit up that it could be seen for miles" (52). Importantly, this scene acts as House's foreshadowing of the struggle Clay will endure as he is torn between the two most powerful forces in his life, religion and secular hedonism. In his search for meaning and fulfillment in his life, however, it will be a figure who is a part of both these worlds who will offer him salvation.
  • clay's quilt criticism
Publication Date
Citation Information
Charlie Sweet and Hal Blythe. "The Sacred and the Secular in Clay's Quilt" Notes on Contemporary Literature Vol. 36 Iss. 1 (2006)
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