Kelly J. Beard, "An Imperfect Rapture" (Zone 3 Press, 2018)


Many of you listening to this now probably recall growing up in a household of faith. You may have fond memories of the familiar rituals, the holidays, the shared family values. A weekly service at a church, a temple or a mosque. For many worshippers, religion can provide a sense of comfort in an otherwise uncertain universe. But for some, being in communion with God can mean placing your faith above all else—including your own children. Such was the case for writer Kelly J. Beard, whose family struggled to feed themselves under the fundamentalist purview of the Desert Chapel. In a new book, An Imperfect Rapture, Beard describes growing up in a community that required its members to participate in excessive tithing, among other practices designed to prey on those who had the least to give. As a child of the 1960s with a strong spirit, Beard defied the religious tenants of her upbringing, seeking to learn more about the world beyond the church and discovering her love of music, travel, and writing in the process. Winner of the Zone 3 Press Nonfiction Book Prize, An Imperfect Rapture (2018) tells the incredible story of one woman’s redemptive journey through an oppressive religious childhood, exploring the ways we both can and can’t transcend the circumstances we’re born into. Today on New Books in Literature, join us as we sit down with Kelly J. Beard to learn more about An Imperfect Rapture, available now from Zone 3 Press.
Zoë Bossiere is a doctoral student at Ohio University, where she studies creative nonfiction and teaches writing classes. For more NBn interviews, follow her on Twitter @zoebossiere or head to

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Zoe Bossiere

Zoë Bossiere is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University, where she studies and teaches creative writing and rhetoric & composition. She is the managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, and the co-editor of its anthology, The Best of Brevity (Rose Metal Press, 2020).

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