There just aren’t words for how much I love Anne Lamott.
The other day I heard Shelagh Rogers on Sounds Like Canada interviewing Heather Mallick about her new book Cake or Death (which you’ll probably see me reviewing here, eventually). They got talking about writers they like, and one of them mentioned Anne Lamott.
“Oh I love Anne Lamott!” swooned Heather.
“Love her!” agreed Shelagh.
“And you know what? She’s — a Christian!!” Heather confided, in tones of shock and awe.
“I know! A Christian!!” Shelagh concurred.
Here they were, these two cool, smart, funny, left-wing, middle-aged women, gobsmacked at the thought that cool, smart, funny, left-wing, middle-aged Anne Lamott is (gasp) a Christian.
See, that’s the kind of Christian I want to be — the kind who is so cool, people are surprised to find out I’m a Christian. And I don’t think that’s actually a very worthy goal. But it’s undeniable that Anne Lamott is almost single-handedly responsible for demonstrating that in this age of political and religious polarization, you can be intelligent, funny, a liberal, use the f-word, and also believe in Jesus and do your best to follow Him.
Not all Christians like Anne Lamott, probably because of those left-wing politics and those f-words. Not all secular people like Anne Lamott because they can’t all handle the way she keeps slipping Jesus into her funny, self-deprecating reflections on otherwise inoffensive topics such as body image, parenting a teenager, and learning not to hate George W. Bush too much. Also, some people don’t like her because she is so incredibly self-obsessed.
But I love her, as do millions of others, because she’s all these things, and she’s so profoundly open and honest about them — including the fact that she’s self-obsessed. Even when I disagree with her, I love to read her writing. Anne Lamott always makes me laugh, and always makes me think. Grace (Eventually) is in much the same vein as Traveling Mercies and Plan B, and I enjoyed it as much. My only complaint — as always, too short. I bought it on Tuesday and, with great effort, saved it as a treat to read over Sabbath. I started after supper Friday night and finished it Saturday morning before church — leaving me with nothing to do on the rest of Saturday but sit down and read it all over again. Which I did.