Interview Novena News : Alfred Eaker, author of ‘Brother Cobweb’: We, the laity, are the Church, not the hierarchy. It needs us prodigals.”
Alfred Eaker, author of ‘Brother Cobweb’: “We, the laity, are the Church, not the hierarchy. It needs us prodigals” By: Mada Jurado On: April 26, 2020 9:00 pm In: Novena interview Tagged: abuse, abuse of power, art, books, culture, laypeople Brother Cobweb was released by Open Books Press this Easter. The novel revolves around a … Continue reading Interview Novena News : Alfred Eaker, author of ‘Brother Cobweb’: We, the laity, are the Church, not the hierarchy. It needs us prodigals.”
I first encountered Alfred Eaker’s work through his contemporary Catholic paintings. They undoubtedly set my expectations up for some sort of direct, colorful explosiveness in his writing from his debut novel, Brother Cobweb; a novel that he has worked on for over twenty-five years. Instead, I was blown away by a naked prose, devoid of … Continue reading Novena News’ advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb
Advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb (Catherine Swan Reimer Ed.D., Counseling Psychologist, PhD)
“Terrorists, usually thought of as enemies of a country, can also be found within families who have access to terrorize a helpless child daily. A child is defenseless and depends on family members for their very survival for emotional, physical, and spiritual needs in their human development. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to integrate these … Continue reading Advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb (Catherine Swan Reimer Ed.D., Counseling Psychologist, PhD)
As with his surreal and mystical paintings, Alfred Eaker’s Brother Cobweb portrays both the beauty and the horrifying distortion in the search for self-identity and purpose, all while having been deeply entangled in the swampy roots of a kitschy, hamburger-helper, “slut-for-Jesus” brand of Pentecostalism.
Alfred Eaker’s story is a harrowing tale of violence, abuse, lies, and conflict — yet it ends in hope. There is redemption: in art, beauty, friendship, love, and God, where, in the midst of sin and the wreckage of life, the light of grace pours abundantly through the cracks and crevices.
Artists have the uncanny ability to recognize the beauty in challenging and difficult life experiences. This is exactly what Alfred Eaker has done with this novel. Calvin is raised by a dysfunctional and abusive family. His lone confidant is his grandfather, the only member of his family to understand and support him, and the one who passes on an … Continue reading Early review for our novel “Brother Cobweb,” by Fr. Justin Belitz OFM
Opening with the ranting of a Pentecostal preacher into the mind of seven-year old Calvin Elkan, who in lieu of attention, creates art in a drawing pad as his derrière numbs atop a hard pew. A caricature of near monster features, Brother Cobweb is born, a minister of pseudo-satanic lunacy.
Alfred Eaker’s Brother Cobweb is a unique coming-of-age story that explores religious fanaticism, childhood powerlessness, the reverberating effects of abuse, and other influences that shape the adults we ultimately become.
Early Review for Brother Cobweb by Keith Banner (Author: “The Life I Lead,” “The Smallest People Alive”)
Alfred Eaker’s Brother Cobweb is a great example of a whole-hearted Bildungsroman – a novel that finds humor and a little horror in the coming-of-age story of Calvin, an artist living in an evangelical universe that constantly enthralls and disgusts him.
Early review for the novel “Brother Cobweb” by Jonathan Montaldo (co-editor of “Soul-Searching: The Thomas Merton Story”)
Alfred Eaker’s Brother Cobweb is a portrait of Pentecostal crazies that could populate a short story by Flannery O’Conner. The book’s main character, Calvin, survives religious hypocrisy and a mother’s physical abuse with the help of a tolerant, benevolent great-grandfather, the real hero of this tale of crooked lines whom “God” fails to make straight.