In Anne Lamott’s wise and witty novel, the growing pains of motherhood are portrayed with rare humor and honesty. If Elizabeth Ferguson had her way, she’d spend her days savoring good books, cooking great meals, and waiting for the love of her life to walk in the door. But it’s not a man she’s waiting for, it’s her daughter, Rosie—her wild-haired, smart-mouthed, and wise-beyond-her-years alter ego. With Rosie around, the days aren’t quite so long, but Elizabeth can’t keep the realities of the world at bay, and try as she might, she can’t shield Rosie from its dangers or mysteries. As Rosie grows older and more curious, Elizabeth must find a way to nurture her extraordinary daughter—even if it means growing up herself.
With the same brilliant combination of humor and warmth that marked Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her two bestselling works of nonfiction, Anne Lamott now gives us an exuberant richly absorbing portrait of a family for whom the joys and sorrows of everyday life are magnified under the glare of the unexpected.
The Fergusons make their home in a small California town where life is supposed to resemble paradise, but for thirteen-year-old Rosie (last seen in Lamott's beloved novel Rosie), reality is a bit harsher. Her mother, a recovering alcoholic, is still beset by grief over the early death of her first husband. Rosie's stepfather is a struggling writer plagued by doubts and hilarious paranoia. And Rosie, aching in the bloom of young womanhood and obsessed with tournament tennis, finds that her athletic gifts, initially a source of triumph, now place her in peril, as a shadowy man who stalks her from the bleachers seems to be developing an obsession of his own.
Written with enormous emotional honesty, inhabited by superbly realized characters, riotously funny and wonderfully suspenseful, Crooked Little Heart is Anne Lamott writing at the height of her considerable powers.
From the Hardcover edition.
"A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." —*Los Angeles Times*
Advice on writing and on life from an acclaimed bestselling author:
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'
It seems no mother of a newborn has ever been more hilarious, more honest, or more touching than Ann Lamott is in OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS. A single parent whose baby's father is out of the picture, Lamott struggles not only to support her little family by her wits and her writing, but to stay sober at the same time. Faith in God helps; so does her loyal band of helpers, from her childless best friend Pammy to her mother and "Aunt Dudu" to the folks at the La Leche League hotline. And between colic, wheat-free diets, and the triumph of solid food, Lamott learns that blessings and losses come together, and that as our capacity for joy increases, so does our capacity for grief.
"An enormous triumph . . . Charming . . . Powerful . . . A gracious book, with dozens of lovingly drawn characters and a deep, infectious religiosity throughout. It is also funny." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Smart, funny and comforting . . . Lamott has a conversational style that perfectly conveys her friendly, self-deprecating humor." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway and Help, Thanks, Wow, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times.
As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; her mother's Alzheimer's; her son's adolescence; and the passing of friends and time.
Fortunately for those of us who are anxious about the state of the world, whose parents are also aging and dying, whose children are growing harder to recognize as they become teenagers, Plan B offers hope that we’re not alone in the midst of despair. It shares with us Lamott's ability to comfort and to make us laugh despite the grim realities.
Anne Lamott is one of our most beloved writers, and Plan B is a book more necessary now than ever. It is further evidence that, as The New Yorker has written, "Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration."
From the bestselling author of Stitches and Help, Thanks, Wow comes her long-awaited collection of new and selected essays on hope, joy, and grace.
Anne Lamott writes about faith, family, and community in essays that are both wise and irreverent. It’s an approach that has become her trademark. Now in Small Victories, Lamott offers a new message of hope that celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness in our lives. Our victories over hardship and pain may seem small, she writes, but they change us—our perceptions, our perspectives, and our lives. Lamott writes of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation, how we can turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations, how we find the joy in getting lost and our amazement in finally being found.
Profound and hilarious, honest and unexpected, the stories in Small Victories are proof that the human spirit is irrepressible.
With generosity, humor, and pathos, Anne Lamott takes on the barrage of dislocating changes that shook the Sixties. Leading us through the wake of these changes is Nanny Goodman, a girl living in Marin County, California. A half-adult child among often childish adults, Nanny grows up with two spectacularly odd parents: a writer father and a mother who is a constant source of material. As she moves into her adolescence, so, it seems, does America. While grappling with her own coming-of-age, Nanny witnesses an entire culture's descent into drugs, the mass exodus of fathers from her town, and rapid real-estate and technological development that foreshadow a drastically different future. In All New People, Anne Lamott works a special magic, transforming failure into forgiveness and illuminating the power of love to redeem us.
Rosie Ferguson is seventeen and ready to enjoy the summer before her senior year of high school. She's intelligent-she aced AP physics; athletic-a former state-ranked tennis doubles champion; and beautiful. She is, in short, everything her mother, Elizabeth, hoped she could be. The family's move to Landsdale, with stepfather James in tow, hadn't been as bumpy as Elizabeth feared.
But as the school year draws to a close, there are disturbing signs that the life Rosie claims to be leading is a sham, and that Elizabeth's hopes for her daughter to remain immune from the pull of the darker impulses of drugs and alcohol are dashed. Slowly and against their will, Elizabeth and James are forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to them-and that her deceptions will have profound consequences.