Saturday, March 04, 2006

Operating Instructions (Anne Lamott)

Anne Lamott is a writer who, at age 35, found herself pregnant with the father of the child wanting nothing to do with the baby. Throughout her son's first year, she documents the experience of having her son by keeping a journal.

Operating Instructions
is a beautiful, thoughtful, spiritual, funny, and heartbreaking book, filled with wonderful small observations and very true emotions. I read it quickly because a) it was so good and b) it's broken down by the days of the journal entries, so the short little sections kept me thinking, okay, maybe just one more. . .

It's not a large book, and her language is so beautiful that the most justice I can do it here is to give an excerpt:

"This is strictly sour grapes. I wish I had a husband. I wish Sam had a dad. . . . Some friends of mine are having a baby in a couple of months and they already know it is a boy and that he has only one whole arm, which of course is also a huge thing not to have. They are also going to call their baby Sam. . . . I pictured the two Sams at the fiction workshop the following year, hanging out together while we taught our classes, and my Sam studying the other Sam and saying, "So where's your arm?" and the other baby shrugging and saying, "I don't know, where's your dad?"

Next book up: How to Read a French Fry by Russ Parsons

1 comment:

Lydia B. said...

Yo, my first year is almost up, yo yo, and I tell you I made that cat Sammy look like a lump of cheese...Naps are for suckers, Sammy! Wait until you hear what my folks have to say about year numero uno!