Maturing in Ape Village: Why I Need Your Help With A Title

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Sometimes publishers like to see a alternate titles for a book before signing off on it, so I’ve been rummaging my brain for ideas that might adequately replace “Evolving in Monkey Town.” After consulting the thesaurus, my husband Dan jokingly suggested “Maturing in Ape Village.” So, to put it mildly, I need some help!

At about 2 a.m. this morning, after I’d exhausted poor Emily Dickinson in search of a smart-sounding poetic reference, I thought, who better to ask than the folks who read my blog. They are smart people. They are in-tune with my thoughts and feelings. They apparently have nothing better to do. (I kid.) 

If you haven’t already, feel free to read over the summary in the “Rachel’s Book” section of the site. (Shameless promotion is also something publishers like to see.) 

I want a title that communicates: 

1) The spiritual journey from certainty to faith…from knowing the answers to asking the questions…from fundamentalism to theological curiosity…etc.

2) The importance of asking questions/ the troubling experience of doubt

3)  A reference to fundamentalism and/or the apologetics-driven Christian sub-culture.

4) Evolution as a metaphor for the ability of believers (both collectively and individually) to adapt to cultural change.

At its heart, the book is a spiritual memoir, so the title needs to have the ring of other spiritual memoirs. I think of “Traveling Mercies,” “Blue Like Jazz,” “Girl Meets God,” etc.  Here are some ideas I’ve jotted down for the title and subtitle: 

- The Secret Skeptic: When A Girl Who Knew All the Answers Started Asking Questions

- Somewhere In Between: The Journey from Certainty to Faith 

- Totally Uncommitted: A Fundamentalist’s Journey from Certainty through Doubt to  Faith  (based on Herbert Butterfield’s quote “Hold to Christ, and for the rest be totally uncommitted”) 

- Thumper: Confessions of a Recovering Bible-Beater  (based on a former nickname of mine) 

- Take No Bag for the Journey: Leaving Certainty Behind on the Path to Spiritual Authenticity (based on Matthew 10:10) 

- Well Roars the Storm: Rejecting Certainty, Surviving Doubt, Embracing Faith (based on Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”)

- A Fitter Faith: Surviving Doubt, Adapting to Change, Evolving into a New Creation 

- Yes. No. Maybe. An Unfinished Journey from Certainty through Doubt to Faith

Let me know if you have any other ideas. I’m feeling a bit desperate, probably over-thinking this. If you come up with the title that sticks I’ll acknowledge you in the “Special Thanks” section….You’ll be famous among the fifteen people who buy the book…and my mom, who will have bought 10,000 copies for herself. 


End of article logo.

Shareable Permalink

© 2008 All rights reserved.
Copying and republishing this article on other Web sites without written permission is prohibited.
Browse articles with tags: humorwriting life