For “Great Desires for Absent Things” author Rob Ryser, meaning has been a mystery in youth, an adversary in young adulthood, and a revelation in midlife.
He attributes progress in his journey to two conversions in faith — from nihilism to belief, and from belief to Catholicism.
A longtime rebel, he finds meaning intertwined with the spiritual life — existential, elusive and bound up with service and suffering.
He also finds meaning to be a comfort that comes as a result of communion with substance, a giving of self, and a connection with authenticity.
His ideas about the relationship between revival, revolution and renaissance are part of an emerging manifesto that puts faith and beauty at the center of cultural upheaval.
His riveting stories about the edges of life and his elegant accounts of grace in the face of devastation place him among the brave new voices of American fiction.