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Image Journal’s Top 100 Books of the Century

Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion (2000).

In selecting books for this list, Image Journal decided to list an author only once to end up with 100 different writers. Moreover, only creative writing was considered: fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction. The works selected manifest a genuine engagement with the Judeo-Christian heritage of faith, rather than merely using religion as background or subject matter. Authors featured on the list include notables like G.K. Chesterton, Ray Bradbury, Annie Dillard, T.S. Eliot, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, and many more. The list is orgnaized alphabetically by last name. “We hope that the following list offers but a glimpse of that wealth of talent this past century has seen — talent exhibited both by those who laid the groundwork for the great works now being written and by those whose compelling narratives and lyrics are helping to bring us into the twenty-first century with a renewed hope in the marriage of religion and art.” ~ Image

  1. W.H. Auden, Collected Poems
  2. Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest
  3. Wendell Berry, Sabbaths
  4. John Berryman, 77 Dream Songs
  5. Doris Betts, Souls Raised from the Dead 
  6. Leon Bloy, The Woman Who Was Poor
  7. Heinrich Boll, The Stories of Heinrich Boll
  8. Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons
  9. Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes
  10. George Mackay Brown, Selected Poems
  11. Frederic Buechner, Godric
  12. Scott CairnsRecovered Body
  13. Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
  14. G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
  15. Paul ClaudelThe Satin Slipper
  16. Elizabeth Dewberry, Many Things Have Happened Since He Died
  17. Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  18. Andre Dubus, Selected Stories
  19. T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
  20. Alice Thomas Ellis, The Sin Eater
  21. Shusaku Endo, Silence
  22. William Everson, Collected Poems (The Residual Years; The Veritable Years)
  23. Horton Foote, The Trip to Bountiful
  24. Christopher Fry, The Lady’s Not for Burning
  25. Denise Giardina, Saints and Sinners
  26. Jose Maria GironellaThe Cypresses Believe in God
  27. Julien Green, Diaries
  28. Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
  29. Patricia HamplVirgin Time
  30. Ron Hansen, Mariette in Ecstasy
  31. Mark Helprin, A Soldier of the Great War
  32. Oscar Hijuelos,  Mr. Ives’ Christmas
  33. Geoffrey Hill, The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Peguy
  34. Edward Hirsch, Earthly Measures
  35. Paul Horgan, Great River
  36. Andrew Hudgins, The Neverending
  37. John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
  38. Josephine Jacobsen, In the Crevice of Time: New and Selected Poems
  39. Mark Jarman, Questions for Ecclesiastes
  40. Elizabeth JenningsCollected Poems
  41. David Jones, The Anathemata
  42. Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ
  43. Thomas KeneallyThree Cheers for the Paraclete
  44. William Kennedy, Ironweed
  45. Wally Lamb, I Know This Much is True
  46. Anne Lamott,  Traveling Mercies
  47. Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
  48. Denise Levertov, The Stream and the Sapphire
  49. Philip Levine, The Mercy
  50. C.S. LewisTill We Have Faces
  51. Torgny Lindgren, Light
  52. Robert Lowell, Lord Weary’s Castle
  53. Paul Mariani, Salvage Operations
  54. Francois Mauriac, Viper’s Tangle
  55. Alice McDermott, Charming Billy
  56. Thomas Merton, Collected Poems
  57. Vassar Miller, If I Had Wheels or Love: Collected Poems
  58. Walter Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz
  59. Czelaw Milosz,  Collected Poems
  60. Brian Moore, Black Robe
  61. Robert Morgan, The Truest Pleasure
  62. Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time
  63. Edwin Muir, Complete Poems
  64. Les MurrayCollected Poems
  65. Kathleen Norris, Dakota
  66. Patrick O’Brian, The Aubrey/Maturin Novels
  67. Flannery O’ConnorThe Violent Bear It Away
  68. Virginia Stem Owens, If You Do Love Old Men
  69. Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
  70. Charles Peguy, The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc
  71. Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
  72. David Plante, The Francoeur Trilogy
  73. Chaim Potok, My Name is Asher Lev
  74. J.F. Powers, The Presence of Grace
  75. Reynolds PriceThree Gospels
  76. Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory
  77. Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker
  78. Ignazio Silone,  Bread and Wine
  79. Louis Simpson, New and Selected Poems
  80. Isaac Bashevis Singer, Collected Stories
  81. Aleksandr SolzhenitsynOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
  82. Muriel Spark, Memento Mori
  83. Tom Stoppard, Hapgood
  84. John Heath StubbsCollected Poems
  85. Allen Tate, Collected Poems
  86. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
  87. Anne TylerSaint Maybe
  88. Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter
  89. John Updike, In the Beauty of the Lillies
  90. Peter de Vries, The Blood of the Lamb
  91. Dan Wakefield, Returning
  92. Walter Wangerin, Jr., The Book of the Dun Cow
  93. Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
  94. Elie Wiesel, Night
  95. Richard Wilbur, New and Collected Poems
  96. Charles WilliamsAll Hallows’ Eve
  97. A.N. Wilson, Wise Virgin
  98. Tim Winton, Cloudstreet
  99. Larry Woiwode, Beyond the Bedroom Wall
  100. Tobias Wolff, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs