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As Earth Without Water

D838 Praying the Great O Antiphons.jpg

Praying the Great O Antiphons: My Soul Magnifies the Lord




"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possiblities;
Truth isn't."--Mark Twain




Katy Carl is author of As Earth Without Water, a novel (Wiseblood, 2021),  Praying the Great O Antiphons: My Soul Magnifies the Lord (Catholic Truth Society, 2021), and Fragile Objects, short stories (Wiseblood, 2023, forthcoming). She is editor in chief of Dappled Things magazine.


Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in WindhoverVita Poetica, Belle Ombre, Across the Margin, Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, Evangelization & Culture, Genealogies of ModernitySt. Louis magazine, and the National Catholic Register, among others. 

A senior affiliate fellow of Penn’s Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society, Katy is pursuing her MFA in creative writing at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. She was honored to be the inaugural Wiseblood Books Writer in Residence in 2020. 


Praise for As Earth Without Water

Reviews & Notices

"At first blush the novel appears to be a tragic love story between . . . doomed lovers who experience the depths of betrayal, sin, and loneliness. But then a deeper layer unfolds, and we see . . . the Divine love story, the movement of God toward his creatures." - Front Porch Republic

"No one else I know could so subtly and surely reveal the finer registers of emotion—I think of Henry James—in a story of acceptance and conversion. As Earth Without Water continues to work on the imagination long after the last page." - Glenn Arbery, president, Wyoming Catholic College

"Katy Carl gives us a vision of love that refuses to be caught up in consoling fantasy. Amidst the darkness of human sin and self-deception, Carl reveals the true complexity, depth, and promise of human longing. A powerful and stunning debut novel." - Jennifer Frey, host of Sacred & Profane Love podcast

"It is when Carl’s ... characters stop running that they open themselves up to eucatastrophe." - LA Review of Books

"Readers will want to go back to the beginning to see the quiet, slow growth of this love all over again." - American 

"To be most oneself, to be truly free, is to locate not where home is but Who home is." - Catholic Courier

"With each new advance up the seven-storey mountain ... little and big surprises accumulate." - Benedict XVI Institute

"[The novel] adds a contemporary link to a long chain of Catholic literature, riffing on elements from these stories to reinvent them in a context more immediately relatable to our even more post- post-Christian society." - Psaltery & Lyre

"This nexus of vision, love, and knowledge pulls in, and is pulled into, the divine, and is itself the picture with which the novel leaves me." - Light on Dark Water

"Carl’s artistry is unlike the pastiche of high modernist works like T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, which seeks to unsettle readers with the weight of the Western intellectual tradition. Rather, it is through the dialogue of her characters that Carl’s novel should unsettle us, showing us the distinction between contemporary liberty and true freedom." - Law & LIberty

Podcast & Audio Conversations


3D Eye

@ Criteria Podcast

Mountain Road

@ Across the Margin

Ceramic Bowls and Plates

@ Vita Poetica

Pregnant Woman

@ Belle Ombre

A Woman Writing by the Window

@ Genealogies of Modernity

Raw Clay

@ Dappled Things

Nun Riding a Bike

@ Psaltery & Lyre

Victorian Detail

@ Sacred & Profane Love Podcast

Ballet Dancer

@ Exposition Review

Listens & Reads


dappledthings.carl (at) gmail (dot) com

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