By Anne Lamott
(North Point Press, Paperback, 9780865472808, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 1999
Anne Lamott's poignant first novel, reissued in an attractive new edition.
Writer (and sometime housecleaner) Jennifer is twenty-three when her beloved father, Wallace, is diagnosed with a brain tumor. This catastrophic discovery sets off Anne Lamott's unexpectedly sweet and funny first novel, which is made dramatic not so much by Wallace's illness as by the emotional wake it sweeps under Jen and her brothers, self-contained Ben and feckless, lovable Randy. With characteristic affection and accuracy, Lamott sketches this offbeat family and their nearest and dearest as they draw ever closer in the intimacy Jen prizes "among the other estimable things: good music, good hard laughter, good sex, good industry, and good books."
Anne Lamott is the author of five novels and two works of nonfiction, Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird. She lives in Northern California.
"The appeal of this book is . . . that it has much to say about how a good family works . . . in times both hard and easy . . . It's a moving and strangely joyful book, a kind of celebration, and it's written with an assurance far beyond the reach of most first novelists."--Anne Tyler, The New York Times Book Review
"If love is details, so is storytelling, and Anne Lamott excels at it. Her way with analogy, metaphor, and evocative detail is subtle; her ability to shift from the specific to the general to the specific again, superb."--Suzanne Mantell, The Nation