Anatomy of a Miracle

Jonathan Miles | Anatomy of a Miracle

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*a novel
Official Selection of the American Library Association/Sarah Jessica Parker BOOK CLUB CENTRAL • Finalist for the 2019 Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters AWARD IN FICTION

A profound new novel about a paralyzed young man’s unexplainable recovery—a stunning exploration of faith, science, mystery, and the meaning of life

Rendered paraplegic after a traumatic event four years ago, Cameron Harris has been living his new existence alongside his sister, Tanya, in their battered Biloxi, Mississippi neighborhood where only half the houses made it through Katrina. One stiflingly hot August afternoon, as Cameron sits waiting for Tanya during their daily run to the Biz-E-Bee convenience store, he suddenly and inexplicably rises up and out of his wheelchair.

In the aftermath of this “miracle,” Cameron finds himself a celebrity at the center of a contentious debate about what’s taken place. And when scientists, journalists, and a Vatican investigator start digging, Cameron’s deepest secrets—the key to his injury, to his identity, and, in some eyes, to the nature of his recovery—become increasingly endangered. Was Cameron’s recovery a genuine miracle, or a medical breakthrough? And, finding himself transformed into a symbol, how can he hope to retain his humanity?

Brilliantly written as closely observed journalistic reportage and filtered through a wide lens that encompasses the vibrant characters affected by Cameron’s story, Anatomy of a Miracle will be read, championed, and celebrated as a powerful story of our time, and the work of a true literary master.

Miles possesses a rare and admirable command of structure and style, shifting smoothly from Afghan patrol tactics to Catholic doctrine to neurological science; his sentences are thick with data, wittily delivered…An expertly shaped tale about faith in collision with contemporary American culture.- Kirkus (starred review)
Masterful…Miles is a writer so virtuosic that readers will feel themselves becoming better, more observant people from reading him.- Los Angeles Review of Books
Vibrant, bustling, and humorous… Cleverly shaped as a journalistic report, and told in a style similar to that of John Jeremiah Sullivan and Ron Currie, Miles’ tale offers a nuanced and endlessly entertaining exploration of the age-old debate between faith and reason.- Booklist
Will break open hearts and imaginations…Miles’s powerful prose nudges readers to seek the soft spots between faith and judgment, story and science, and fact and fiction.- CJ Lotz, Garden & Gun
Satire at its best is constructive social criticism, and Miles is perfecting this craft in the 21st century…With sincerity and wit, Miles pens a strong, sardonic rumination on the religious boundaries of the miraculous.- Library Journal
Jonathan Miles’ smart exploration of everything from the excesses of American popular culture to the deepest aspects of religious belief roars to life…Anatomy of a Miracle is a thoughtful modern morality play that’s as current as the latest internet meme and as timeless as the foundations of faith.- BookPage
“Delivers humor and serious thought in perfect measure, breaking your heart on every page….a testament to [Miles’s] exceptional talent. ‘Anatomy’ is one of the best books I will read this year.”- Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Miss.)
Jonathan Miles has written a novel whose comic moments alone make it a wonderful read, but Anatomy of a Miracle quickly becomes so much more: an intense, and intensely profound, meditation on how an extraordinary event might test the limits of both scientific and religious belief. What a superb writer; what a superb book.- Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and Above the Waterfall
A remarkable combination of medical mystery, satire and war story. Like Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, it captures the long-lasting effects of war by focusing on those for whom war is only a tangential thing somewhere far away.- Bruce Jacobs, Shelf Awareness