Anne Lamott has an elegant, muscle-bound faith. One minute she’s bitchy and morose, and the next she’s unreasonably forgiving and gentle. That’s not to say she’s of two minds. While she’s uncomfortably honest about her own darkness, she’s clearly kicking its ass, one round at a time. These essays find her in a variety of situations, some heartbreaking (friends with terminal illness), some hilarious (figuring out why she keeps hearing her name when alone in the house). She never hides who she is or how she really feels. She doesn’t make up stories. She is a Christian writing without an agenda – defiant, humble, witty, brutally real. She celebrates when God meets her, and cries out when he doesn’t. These are middle-aged, punk psalms. (Is she the Patti Smith of Christian essayists?) For anyone living a life of faith, Small Victories will ring uncannily true. For anyone not interested in a life of faith, it is still full of joy and life and courage. She says, “It helps beyond words to plant bulbs in the dark of winter.” She is an explosion of blossoms after–even during–a storm.
Here’s an unlrelated chat from a few years ago between Anne Lamott and Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild.
I wish she was my neighbor, and I would bump into her on purpose/accident – “oh hey Anne, looks like I got some of your junk mail – I think this is your Pennysaver – hey I like what you did with your car, you washed it right? whoa, that lantana’s looking great” and so forth – just anything. She’s really cool.