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One of the more "fascinating emanations on the social landscape of millennial America," writes Kathleen Hirsch in the Chicago Tribune, "is the emerging generation of what might be called latter-day Christians. White, middle-class adults, 35 to 50 years old and reasonably well-educated, are returning to the fold of traditional church congregations after years of proud exile."

Kathleen Norris is one of these latter-day Christians. She spent her early years in New York, working among secular literati as a writer and poet. Then she and her husband decided to move to South Dakota, into the former home of her grandmother. Norris began attending the nearby Presbyterian church and was also drawn to visit a Benedictine monastery to meditate and pray. This led, ever so slowly, to a conversion to Christ.

She explores her spiritual journey in three books, all of which have become best sellers. In Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) and The Cloister Walk (Riverhead, 1996) we watch ...

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