Devotion: Book summary and reviews of Devotion by Dani Shapiro

Devotion

A Memoir

by Dani Shapiro

Devotion by Dani Shapiro X
Devotion by Dani Shapiro
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2010
    256 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

In her mid-forties and settled into the responsibilities and routines of adulthood, Dani Shapiro found herself with more questions than answers. Was this all life was - a hodgepodge of errands, dinner dates, e-mails, meetings, to-do lists? What did it all mean?

Having grown up in a deeply religious and traditional family, Shapiro had no personal sense of faith, despite repeated attempts to create a connection to something greater. Feeling as if she was plunging headlong into what Carl Jung termed "the afternoon of life," she wrestled with self-doubt and a searing disquietude that would awaken her in the middle of the night. Set adrift by loss - her father's early death; the life-threatening illness of her infant son; her troubled relationship with her mother - she had become edgy and uncertain. At the heart of this anxiety, she realized, was a challenge: What did she believe? Spurred on by the big questions her young son began to raise, Shapiro embarked upon a surprisingly joyful quest to find meaning in a constantly changing world. The result is Devotion: a literary excavation to the core of a life.

In this spiritual detective story, Shapiro explores the varieties of experience she has pursued - from the rituals of her black hat Orthodox Jewish relatives to yoga shalas and meditation retreats. A reckoning of the choices she has made and the knowledge she has gained, Devotion is the story of a woman whose search for meaning ultimately leads her home. Her journey is at once poignant and funny, intensely personal—and completely universal.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"There is much pretty writing here...as well as a winning candor and self-scrutiny. Measured, protracted prose leads this affecting journey." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Absorbing, intimate, direct and profound, Shapiro’s memoir is a satisfying journey that will touch fans and win her plenty of new ones." - Publishers Weekly

"This work should appeal to readers who enjoy memoir, self-help, spirituality, and women's books. To reveal more would undermine the reader's pleasure of discovery. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Dani Shapiro takes readers on an intense journey in search of meaning and peace. Her story of hope is eloquently told and unflinchingly honest." - Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

"I was immensely moved by this elegant book, which reminded me all over again that all of us—at some point or another—must buck up our courage and face down the big spiritual questions of life, death, love, loss and surrender." - Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"This is a beautiful, wry and moving story about one intelligent woman's journey into her own life, to the corners where intelligence doesn't always help." - Amy Bloom, author of Away

This information about Devotion shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Dani Shapiro Author Biography

Photo: Michael Maren

Dani Shapiro is the author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is cofounder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Link to Dani Shapiro's Website

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