“I try to write the books I would love to come upon, that are honest, concerned with real lives, human hearts, spiritual transformation, families, secrets, wonder, craziness—and that can make me laugh. When I am reading a book like this, I feel rich and profoundly relieved to be in the presence of someone who will share the truth with me, and throw the lights on a little, and I try to write these kinds of books. Books, for me, are medicine.”
That’s Anne Lamott, explaining why she writes. We figured it was because she’s really, really good at it. Or, because, she somehow figured out we, and by we, I mean I, really needed her comforting not long after the birth of my first child.
Lamott’s “Operating Instructions” published in 1993, was a chronicle of the birth of her son Sam. It was honest—sometimes disarmingly, sometimes brutally—with Lamott seeming to hold nothing back, whether it was about disastrous relationships, her struggle with drugs and alcohol or the penetrating terror of finding one’s self completely responsible for the ongoing survival of another human being.
Lamott had already written four of her seven novels when “Operating” was published, launching her into a new genre that has produced 11 books. Described as someone who has “perfected the art of saying the unsayable,” Lamott will actually be saying some of that Saturday, March 14 (8 p.m.) at the Carpenter Center as part of its Wit and Wisdom series.
Last we checked, there are still tickets available for the event, click on the link below if you’d like to attend. We recommend you do.
Lamott has worked that amazing trick of being able to write with sentiment without sentimentality, though always being incisive, sometimes profound and always damn funny. (She also seems to have the most amazing friends who say the most amazing things in her books. Which reminds us that we, and by we I mean I, need to get better friends.)
If you’re interested in what you might expect Saturday, here are a few of our favorite Lamott-isms. Trust us, there are plenty more:
An Evening With Anne Lamott is March 14, 8 p.m. at Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts, located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach at 6200 E. Atherton St. For tickets, click here.
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