Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?
I don’t think I have ever read anyone writing about self-loathing, disappointment and despair in such a respectful and attentive way as Anne Lamott. It is very easy to identify with Lamott’s narrator, even if her problem may be slightly different from yours, it doesn’t really matter. When the specificities of a certain life is put in parentheses, our common daily struggle for living decent lives in a much too complicated world, is much the same. Identification is important, but what makes Lamott’s writing into art, is her unexpected twists – when she, for example, suddenly makes something tragically into a comedy, or; when she, in the middle of a very strange story, suddenly let the reader meet herself – mirrored – in the most unexpected situations.
do know the sorrow of being ordinary, and that much of our life is spent doing the crazy mental arithmetic of how, at any given moment, we might improve, or at least disguise or present our defects and screw-ups in either more charming or more intimidating ways.
The two books I have been reading, and the lecture I have listened to, are all very much about Anne Lamott, she doesn’t try to hide the fact, BUT what surprises me, is how much they all also are about me – .
My Anne Lamott’s:
- Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith (2007)
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (1995)
- Word By Word (1996) audio