Knox Professor Hellenga's Novel Featured on Book Review Site

'Snakewoman of Little Egypt'

October 11, 2011

Robert HellengaThe paperback version of Snakewoman of Little Egypt, a novel by Knox College Professor Emeritus Robert Hellenga, is featured on the book review website It is one of the books selected for the site's "Now in Paperback" section.

Hellenga is George Appleton Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English at Knox.

Snakewoman follows the lives of two people: Sunny, a woman who has rejected her extreme views of religion in favor of science, and Jackson, her lover who develops an interest in the mysticism of the Church of the Burning Bush with Signs Following, the same church Sunny had just left.

The book has received favorable reviews, with Publishers Weekly calling it "a captivating and original take on the strange ways of redemption." Library Journal noted how Hellenga "mesmerizes with this brainy study of snakes and snake-handling churches, love, independence, and, yes, even the power of timpani drumming. Another flawless performance."

The Chicago Tribune praised the book as "a well-written narrative that is both thoughtful and action-packed." has given the novel a double thumbs-up Critics' Opinion rating and a Reader Rating of 4 on a scale of 5.

Hellenga, who joined the Knox College faculty in 1968, earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. His teaching interests include composition, fiction, poetry, English renaissance literature, English romantic literature, literary criticism, classical mythology, and fiction writing.