Anne Lamott is the New York Times bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow; Small Victories; Stitches; Some Assembly Required; Grace (Eventually); Plan B; Traveling Mercies; Bird by Bird; Operating Instructions, and the forthcoming Hallelujah Anyway. She is also the author of several novels, including Imperfect Birds and Rosie. A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an inductee to the California Hall of Fame, she lives in Northern California.
Lamott (Bird by Bird) reads a collection of her autobiographical essays, each a heart-wrenching detailing of a life grown up in a world of obsessions: food, alcohol, drugs and relationships. She tells of her childhood and early adulthood in Tiburon, Calif., where she started drinking and drugging young in a permissive 1960s-era disheveled household. The title essay, "Traveling Mercies," dwells on things "broken," such as her body, when she became a bulimic. Lamott's writing is honest and direct, and in her reading she presents her words with emotional insistence. She recalls episodes from her life with vivid ferocity, noticing how "everything felt so intense and coiled and M”bius strip-like." As she has a son, sobers up, her search for awareness turns spiritual. The sum effect comes across like a hipper version of Melody Beattie's self-help classic, Codependent No More. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover. (Feb.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
"Even at her most serious, she never takes herself or her spirituality too seriously. Lamott is a narrator who has relished and soaked up the details of her existence, equally of mirth and devastation, spirit and grief, and spilled them onto her pages." --The New York Times Book Review
"Life-affirming...Lamott fills her text with remarkable detail and a refreshing sense of humanity that has you guffawing on one page and bawling on the next." --People "You'll love Traveling Mercies for Lamott's unblinking confrontation with God's love, and you'll buy copies for all your friends struggling with faith." --USA Today "Exuberant and captivating.... shifts from laugh-out-loud wisecracks to heart-wrenching poignancy. At one point she seems a reincarnation of Erma Bombeck; at others, she could be Annie Dillard or Kathleen Norris." --Chicago Tribune "Compares with the witty and moving Christian apologetics of C. S. Lewis.... Lamott is a fine writer who combines theology with humor, compassion, and practicality." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Applies passion, wisdom, and intensity to a scorchingly personal look at the road from spiritual apathy to ardent belief.... Traveling Mercies, like Ms. Lamott herself, is a consistent delight." --Dallas Morning News "Lamott has developed an entirely new genre of religious writing. Gritty, stark, and humorous, she catches the reader by surprise when she points her pen heavenward.... Anne Lamott [is] the patron saint of struggling sinners, a woman who loves God enough to be divinely human."--Religion News Service "Anne Lamott is walking proof that a person can be both reverent and irreverent in the same lifetime. Sometimes even in the same breath." San Francisco Chronicle
This book, Lamott's eighth (following Crooked Little Heart, LJ 4/1/97), is part spiritual autobiography, part essay on living as a recovering alcoholic, drug abuser, and bulimic and a loving but deeply anxious single mother. Lamott tells of finding Christian faith and learning to allow it to help her through tough times. Working hard at self-examination, she makes no excuses for herself. At times wickedly funny, her prose is as lovely as always. She notes that to Christians "death is really just a major change of addresses," but when her son is sick, the glibness vanishes, and she must work hard to allow herself patience and peace. Her musings on cellulite, curly hair, sick children, and fear of dogs are entertaining. She's the mouthy best friend we cherish at our kitchen table. Recommended for public libraries.‘Judith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll., Bronxville, NY