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Author Mary Eberstadt discusses stage adaptation of 'The Loser Letters'

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Celebrating the New Play: THE LOSER LETTERS, at CUA | Busboys and Poets

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First, the good. The Shadow disappears for a while late in the play. Her regret is portrayed—or rather described, since the entire play is just the main character talking into her phone—in increasingly-extreme images. She winds up completely losing her grip on reality, having tea parties with a doll that represents her aborted daughter.

The Loser Letters: impish wit and a satirical dissection of atheism

I think Eberstadt was aiming for phantasmagoria, a scene with the intensity of the passage in Infinite Jest about the woman who carries her dead baby through the streets. As described, though, the scene was straight-faced and soupy, closer to a Chick tract than to a medieval morality play. Nothing about the inner life of an actual non-Christian is clearly imagined here. Seriously, was she even Catholic or Protestant? Her sources of authority are bizarre.


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  2. Celebrating the New Play: THE LOSER LETTERS, at CUA!
  3. Reborn (Altered, Book 3).
  4. Her understanding of Christianity draws more from s American conservatism than from the lives of the saints. Abortion is presented as a simple choice made by hedonists who sacrifice the weak to their amorality.


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    We see none of the more complex reasons women seek abortion: the feeling of helplessness, for example, or the belief that abortion is the responsible choice. CUA required its freshman class to attend this play. This strikes me as a mistake.

    The Loser Letters: A conversation with Mary Eberstadt

    The last thing young, confident American Catholics need is bad arguments about the personal superiority of Christians. The last thing they need is propaganda that glosses over the cost of discipleship. For such a play to be honest, however, it would require more artistic craft, more empathy with sinners, and more intellectual care than has been has shown here. Our team is committed to a mission of providing articles that enrich, inspire and inform a Catholic life.