Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

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Synopsis

Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well." Anne thinks of Jesus as "Casper the friendly savior" and describes God as "one crafty mother."

Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness.

Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Anne Lamott

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ANNE LAMOTT is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Grace (Eventually), Plan B, Traveling Mercies, and Operating Instructions, as well as seven novels, including Rosie and Crooked Little Heart. A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she lives in northern California.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by Anchor Books. 275 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Traveling Mercies

Kirkus Reviews

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Lamott circuitously chronicles finding the church (for months, she stayed only for the music, leaving before the sermon) just as she approached a crossroads in her life, finally admitting her alcoholism and other addictions, and starting out on the long road to sobriety (these chapters are among ...

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Publishers Weekly

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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

Jan 04 1999 | Read Full Review of Traveling Mercies

Publishers Weekly

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In a short autobiography and 24 vignettes that appeared in earlier versions in the online magazine Salon, Lamott blends raw emotional honesty with self-mocking goofiness to show how the faith she has cultivated at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in the poor community of Marin City, Calif., transla...

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Publishers Weekly

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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

Jan 04 1999 | Read Full Review of Traveling Mercies

Entertainment Weekly

The irreverent author Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions, Crooked Little Heart) is an unlikely born-again Christian, and these reflections on faith range from the touching to the vaguely embarrassing.

Mar 12 1999 | Read Full Review of Traveling Mercies

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Mar 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Traveling Mercies

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Spirituality & Practice

Whether writing about her dreadlocks, her battle with bulimia, her practice of cronehood, or her insistence that her young son attend church, Lamott reveals an uncanny respect for the mysteries of life and for the unexpected wonders abounding in everyday events.

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Reader Rating for Traveling Mercies
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