Miss Margaret Kenna, daughter of the late Senator John Edward Kenna, who died January 7, 1893, while serving his second term in the Senate, is one of the youngest of our Catholic writers, but bids fair to take a high rank among short-story-writers at least. What she may do towards the great American novel, it is yet too soon to prophesy; but her series of sketches, “In the Parish of the Sacred Heart,” now appearing in this magazine, manifest a forcefulness and originality as character studies, which show that Miss Kenna is laying the most solid of foundations for her possible future work as a novelist. She has “always loved writing” Indeed, her efforts date so far back, into her almost childhood, that she is unable to recall precisely what were her baby beginnings. They comprise, however, newspaper sketches, written and published while she was a student at Mount de Chantal the Visitation Convent near Wheeling, Miss Kenna’s home being in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia. As yet she has published but one book, The Madonna of the Snowflakes, a dainty brochure whose chapters, while as delicately drawn, are hardly as strong as her later work. Our author’s stories never pass unnoticed, and the criticism which they have drawn upon themselves, in some quarters, is possibly quite as much to their credit, as is the praise which has been showered on them in others. It is worthy of note that the warmest encomiums on the fidelity to life and on the beauty of Miss Kenna’s priestly heroes come from the clergy themselves, who certainly ought to know when the “Priest in Fiction” is well drawn!
“Living Catholic Authors: Miss Margaret Kenna,” The Catholic World (December 1897): 422-423.
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