Witty and self-efffacing with a gift for the unexpectedly profound turn-of-phrase, Lamott illuminates moments of faith and hope in the direst and most challenging of circumstances. In 24 essays primarily culled from her column on Salon.com, she writes about the loss of her mother from Alzheimer's, the death of a beloved dog, turning 50, raising a teen-aged son, and loving Jesus and Mary while abhoring a born-again Christian president.
She weaves tales of everyday life, from winning a free ham at the supermarket to disciplining her son, with reflections on spirituality and religion.
She describes brine shrimp reproducing as "commas doing the macarena" and says hard rain "makes the stuff we usually can't see, air and wind, visible." She helps her son find his biological father, starts a Sunday school, and talks about writing at San Quentin prison. Along the way, she connects the dots between the grandest themes and the smallest, least inspiring events in life.
"Grace means you're in a different universe from where you had been stuck, when you had absolutely no way to get there on your own," she writes. Tonight, On Point: Anne Lamott and the demands of faith today.
Anne Lamott, the author of six novels, including New York Times bestseller "Blue Shoe," and two other nonfiction national bestsellers — "Bird by Bird," and "Operating Instructions." She is a columnist for Salon.com and past recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.
This program aired on May 5, 2005.