Anne Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. But armed with self-effacing humor she is laugh-out-loud funny and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment. Actually, she writes about what most of us don't like to think about. She wrote her first novel for her father, the writer Kenneth Lamott, when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has said that the book was "a present to someone I loved who was going to die." In all her novels, she writes about loss loss of loved ones and loss of personal control. She doesn't try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice. Lamott does communicate her faith; in her books and in person, she lifts, comforts, and inspires, all the while keeping us laughing.
Lamott is the author of seven novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, Blue Shoe, All New People, Crooked Little Heart, and Imperfect Birds. She has also written several bestselling books of nonfiction, including, Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son's first year followed by Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son, and a writing guide: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. She has also authored three collections of autobiographical essays on faith; Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, and Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. In her latest book of non-fiction, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Lamott gives us three prayers to assist us in trying times. Her new book is entitled Stitches; A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair, an honest, funny book about how to make sense of life's chaos (Oct 2013).
Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship and has taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country. Lamott's biweekly Salon Magazine "online diary," Word by Word, was voted The Best of the Web by TIME magazine. Academy Award winning filmmaker Freida Mock has made a documentary on Lamott, entitled Bird by Bird with Annie (1999). Lamott has also been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
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An Interview with Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott freely admits that before she said
"Yes" to Jesus, her life was a mess. In some ways it still is.
Her pets keep getting sick and dying. Her home office, where she has just packed up the manuscript of her latest novel -- a two-year project -- and mailed it off to her publisher, looks "kind of like a rummage sale." She is not sure where she stashed the curriculum for the confirmation class she is organizing for her 12-year-old son, Sam, and two other young people in the 100-member Presbyterian church where she is an elder. "I have it in the car, I think," she says, adding ruefully, "That's usually my battle cry -- I have it in the car, I think."
Standing in the back doorway of her cottage nestled among other smallish-size houses on a steep hillside in the San Francisco Bay-area town of Fairfax, California, Lamott greets Saturday afternoon visitors with a plaintive request for help. Her pet kitten died recently, and now Boo-Boots, her 16-year-old cat, is dying of leukemia and kidney failure. The cat needs an injection, and is lying on a towel on an ironing board in the bedroom.
"Do any of you have medical training?" Lamott asks the photographer and two journalists she ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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