in Conversation with Sam Lamott
Recorded April 4th, 2020
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Anne Lamott in conversation with Sam Lamott
Saturday, April 4, 2020
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“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”
Anne writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. But armed with self-effacing humor – she is laugh-out-loud funny – and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment. Actually, she writes about what most of us don’t like to think about. She wrote her first novel for her father, the writer Kenneth Lamott, when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has said that the book was “a present to someone I loved who was going to die.” In all her novels, she writes about loss – loss of loved ones and loss of personal control. She doesn’t try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice. As she says, “I have a lot of hope and a lot of faith and I struggle to communicate that.” Anne Lamott does communicate her faith; in her books and in person, she lifts, comforts, and inspires, all the while keeping us laughing.
Anne Lamott is the author of seven novels, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, Blue Shoe, All New People, Crooked Little Heart, and Imperfect Birds. She has also written several bestselling books of nonfiction, including, Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son’s first year; Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son; and the classic book on writing; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. She has also authored several collections of autobiographical essays on faith; Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, and Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. In addition, she has written, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Stitches; A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace, and Hallelujah Anyway; Rediscovering Mercy. Her most recent book is Almost Everything: Notes on Hope (October 16, 2018, Riverhead Books).
Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock has made a documentary on Lamott, entitled “Bird by Bird with Annie” (1999). Anne Lamott has also been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
Visit the Book Passage website to have any of Anne’s books delivered right to your door.
You’re sure to enjoy these Book Passage favorites:
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
A personal note from Anne Lamott.
Sent April 5th, following her Conversations with Authors session.
Thank you so much for joining Sam and me for the launch of the Book Passage Conversations with Authors. Your enthusiastic and loving support literally brought tears to my eyes (and of course to Elaine’s, but she is a big baby.)
We were honored and excited to do it, glitches, blurts and all! I feel blessed by my connection to all of you, to the authors and the staff of Book Passage and ExtendedSession during these dark days. Everyone has brought their very best self to this endeavor. I especially loved you all in the listening audience, for the intelligence and heart in your questions.
Here’s a list of books that Sam and I talked about:
- Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell
- Speedboat by Renata Adler
- The Opposite of Certainty: Fear, Faith and Life in Between by Janine Reid
- A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
- The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
- A Crooked Smile by Terri Tate
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
- It Didn’t Start with You by Mark Wolynn
- The Game of Thrones (boxed set) by George RR Martin
And thanks to you for being part of Book Passage’s “Conversations with Authors” event series.