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Shame on Anchor Books!
am 20. Februar 2000
Unsuspecting people will buy this book because it appears to be a memoir of a troubled woman's journey to religious faith. Anchor Books promotes this impression by (a) on the cover, putting the title of the book on a signboard in front of a church -- as if it were the title of a sermon, (b) subtitling the book "Some Thoughts on Faith", (c) on the back of the book, classifying the book as "Memoir/Spirituality" and stating that the book "shows us the myriad ways [Lamott's] faith sustains and guides her", and (d) on the publishing information page, encouraging such card catalogue entries as "1. Lamott, Anne -- Religion" and "3. Christian biography -- United States".
This is false packaging. There is very little about religion or spirituality in this book; it is much more about gaining faith in one's self than it is about gaining religious faith.
So what is this book? It's part Fran Leibowitz, part Annie Dillard, and great dollops of self-indulgence. If you are looking for a book about faith, spirituality, or religion, then you have come to the wrong place. If you seek an "irreverent" book about growing up drug-addled, having a child without benefit of marriage, being obsessed with hair and cellulite, and how to come to terms with these assorted conditions, then this is your book.