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What inspired Michael O’Brien as a writer and artist?

First biography of popular Catholic novelist and painter provides introduction to a remarkable man

SAN FRANCISCO — The very first biography of one of the most popular Catholic novelists and painter of modern times, Michael O’Brien, is released today from author Clemens Cavallin: ON THE EDGE OF INFINITY, which explores O’Brien’s early childhood through his rise in Western culture as he sought the guidance of God to pursue his writing and art.

Like O’Brien, Cavallin is an artist and has six children. He is an associate professor in Religious Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who studied at the Valand Art Academy in Gothenburg.

Cavallin was granted unrestricted access to O’Brien’s journals and his personal archives dating back to the late 1970s until the present day as part of his research for ON THE EDGE OF INFINITY, providing an intimate look at his most private struggles as he prayed about this life, his vocation of marriage, and his daily struggles.

By revealing sides of O’Brien’s interior creative life — including mystical experiences, spiritual battles and illuminations — Cavallin has painted a portrait of a contemporary visual and literary artist whose inspiration arises from an intense fusion of imagination and active faith.

ON THE EDGE OF INFINITY covers O’Brien’s life from his childhood in the Canadian Arctic to the crucial decision in 1976 to devote himself wholly to Christian sacred arts, followed by his inspiration to write fiction and his bestselling apocalyptic novel, Father Elijah. The story then continues to the present with explorations of O’Brien’s other works.

“Michael O’Brien is, I believe, the greatest living Catholic novelist, so it is high time someone wrote his biography,” said Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and author of Doors in the Walls of the World. “Fortunately, Clemens Cavallin is up to the task. The story is clear, comprehensive, compassionate and character-driven. There are not many people in the world who are more worth meeting than Michael O’Brien.”


For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Clemens Cavallin, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or [email protected]) of Carmel Communications.

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