Praise for Dance Lessons: Moving to the Rhythm of a Crazy God

Reissued in paperback as Motherhood in the Balance: Children, Career, God, and Me. Harrisburg PA: Morehouse, 1999, 2000.

“God haunted. I know no other description for Catherine Wallace than that she is God haunted. In this extraordinary memoir she graciously shares her life so that we can see what it means to be haunted by God. Thoroughly honest and yet filled with loving kindness, she describes every day in a manner that can help us better see our every days in the light of God’s love. What a wonderful, graciously written and told story.”             —Stanley M. Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke University

“Bright, talented, hard-working, and fiercely determined to raise babies while maintaining a consuming career as a literary theorist on the university fast track, Wallace chronicles the toll—physical exhaustion and illness culminating in the denial of her tenure—of trying to achieve it all. Every woman who has nursed a baby through the wee hours while working on a report or deadline or worked the unpaid 24-hour shifts of motherhood will recognize herself in Wallace's stream-of-consciousness report. Humorous and scrappy, yet deeply reflective, Wallace recounts her staunch Irish Catholic upbringing, her struggle to forge a professional identity for herself, her involvement with a church community in turmoil, and, above all, her ongoing quest to make sense of God and to stay true to parenthood, her prime profession, regardless of the tugs and pulls of modern life.”

            —Library Journal

“Unlike so many women chronicling the competing demands of motherhood and career, Catherine Wallace resists the temptation to romanticize one or the other. She provokes some tough, wise thinking on both. Along the way, this scholar and teacher and mother constructs a fragile but certain synthesis: faith in a dancing God, whose attributes include humor, syncopation, and a love of chaos.

            —Martha Ellen Stortz, Professor of Historical Theology and Ethics, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

“By turns hilarious and harrowing, Catherine Wallace recounts in exhilarating and lyric prose her search for ways to integrate religion into her everyday life in Dance Lessons: Moving to the Rhythm of a Crazy God.

            —Publisher’s Weekly, 3.22.99                              

“In her wonderful new memoir, Dance Lessons, Catherine Wallace insightfully and humorously recalls her discovery of an expansive vocation in relation to God only through the frustrations of unjust academic institutions and the complexities of family life.. Such lessons are more easily narrated retrospectively than they are communicated to graduates and others who are seeking assurance that they are making wise vocational choices. Yet we . . . are called to help provide them with perspective—with direction shaped by our commitment to God, and with an ironic sense of humor as we discover the surprises that God has in store for us all.”

            —L. Gregory Jones, Dean of Duke Divinity School, writing in his “Faith Matters” column for The Christian Century, 7.14.99

“. . . she documents her struggle to balance her talents and ambitions as a literary scholar and academic with her children’s needs—and her need for them. She discovers it is not simply a modern, personal struggle, but a spiritual one as well—one that leads her to the realization that the real problem is one of vocation. Her humorous, touching, and deeply moving stories will strike a chord with Welcome Home readers. These are woven in with Wallace’s unique perspective on how the great literary and philosophical themes of Western culture play out in our ordinary everyday lives. This is, after all, how Wallace defines her role as an independent writer and cultural critic: To help us see how 'all this fine, complicated stuff is really part of our daily life'.”

            Betsy Kocsis, Welcome Home, 11.99
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