Elizabeth Marquardt’s book sat on my shelf for many weeks. I really wanted to read it. I had heard about her research and had been intrigued. Yet I kept avoiding actually opening the book. It does not take a shrink to tell me I was avoiding it because I didn’t want to take a look into this particular mirror.
"To make a prairie,” Emily Dickinson once wrote, “it takes a clover and one bee, / . . . And revery.” But “the revery alone will do, / If bees are few.” To make a great literary biography it takes a great subject, a biographer’s understanding—and reverie. In the new biography of Eudora Welty by Suzanne Marrs the ingredients are all there.
Edgar Allan Poe once famously opined that the death of a beautiful woman is “unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.” What if the woman is also a poet, death comes early, and her husband is a famous poet as well?
Few writers can stand on the edge of personal destruction and then report on the process with both mordant wit and complete honesty. For Anne Lamott, the combination made Traveling Mercies a runaway best seller.
Six years later, Lamott continues her account of her new faith and its application to her life as a writer, church member and parent in Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. In the five years since Traveling, Lamott seems to have gained strength, propelling herself forward through rough moments by leaning on her congregation, her friendships and therapy, and shaping a Christian life for herself and her son, Sam, now a teenager.