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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Christian / Classic & Allegory
  • Language:English
  • Pages:116
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098390532
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098390525


by Donna Lee Davis

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Saint Genesius the Actor is said to have had a vision of the Christ after being "baptized" on stage in a farce ridiculing Christians. He was emboldened to offer his audience, including the Imperator Diocletian, the opportunity to learn about Jesus--which cost him his life. How did this Roman playwright and comedian come to such an end? He'd like to tell you.

Most successful fiction about early Christianity—such as Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace (1880), Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienklewicz (1897), The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas (1942) and The Silver Chalice by Thomas Costain (1953)—is set in or very close to the lifetime of Jesus. Genesius takes place at the time of the last great Roman persecution of Christians. It is the first-person account of a little known saint anxious to tell his own story. "I am myth, I am man, I am martyr," he begins. "I am all of these, or I am none." Here Saint Genesius of Rome, also known as the Actor, is given a backstory to explain his martyrdom, a personality-- arrogant, funny, lusty, conniving—and a life, far too short but oh so very memorable. Genesius: An imaginative tale, a glimpse of Christian history, a benediction.

About the author
Donna Lee Davis has been writing since childhood. Twice she has self-published poetry volumes, Sheer Poetry in 1981 and Sheer Poetry Revisited in 2007; individual poems have been reprinted in periodicals. Her short story "Pappy's Girl" appeared in Carpe Articulum Literary Review (Fall 2010) and was short listed for the Nelson Algren Award (Chicago Tribune) in 2007. Nonfiction: Here Is the Church: A History of St. Mary Parish (2016). Novel: Matter of Discretion (2017). The novella sequel to Matter of Discretion is contained in Something Else Entirely: Collected Works (2019). Her latest work of fiction, Genesius (2021),is based upon the martyrdom of St. Genesius of Rome. Follow her blog, Just A Few Lines, on her website. Donna holds the USN Meritorious Civilian Service Medal (1999), which is (or was at the time) a fairly rare award. Now happily retired, she is writing into her old age. Website:

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