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All New People Paperback – December 17, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint; 1st edition (December 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582430543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582430546
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Confirming the talent evinced in Rosie (and somewhat obscured by the excessively arch tone of her last novel, Joe Jones ), Lamott here achieves her promising potential in a novel of rare sensitivity and evocative power. The rueful, elegiac tone of her prose balanced by humor and plangent insights, she tells a quiet but resonant story through the eyes of Nan Goodman, who has returned to the small northern California town of her childhood. This is a meticulously observed memoir of growing up as the child of ultra - liberal (former "commie") parents: her volatile father is a noted but not financially successful writer; her mother, a devout Christian who rails at God and seeks to reform the world through social activism. The extended family includes Nan's brother Casey, their feckless, alcoholic uncle Ed and obese aunt Peg, and Nan's mother's eccentric divorced friend, Natalie. There is little overt action here--Natalie gets pregnant by Ed, Casey smokes pot, their father leaves and comes back--but these events are magnified against the social and cultural currents of the '60s and '70s: developers change the character of the town, there is an epidemic of divorces, the drug culture takes its toll. The rural setting is integral to Nan's memories: the smell and sight of the sea, wildflowers on the brown hillsides, plum and apple and fig trees, pink and purple fog. Nan remembers it all with a clear-eyed nostalgia, acknowledging the migraines that made her an outsider, and the fear, shame and humiliation lurking even in the fondest memories of happy times. The emotional complexity of this understated tale makes it an absorbing read.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this child's-eye view of the fear and pain of growing up, Lamott shows in vivid word pictures that the child is parent of the adult. Nan Goodman, hurting after a failed marriage and her father's death, goes back to the town of her childhood. As skinny little Nanny, aged five to 12, she either adored or was ashamed of her leftist parents, her writer father who never made enough money for comfort and her devoutly Christian mother who was his inspiration. Wrenching memories of family disasters, and especially the cruel snubs and abject solitude of childhood, are dissipated by love and laughter, and the adult Nan makes peace with her past. In spare prose Lamott ( Rosie , LJ 10/15/83) creates endearing, quirky characters in scenes memorable for being so skillfully drawn and universally appealing. A heart-warmer, to be savored.
- Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Grace (Eventually), Plan B, Traveling Mercies, and Operating Instructions, as well as seven novels, including Rosie and Crooked Little Heart. She is a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Customer Reviews

Anne is the Queen of all writers of all time!
Marion
I have recommended her books to all the readers I know and I hope EVERYONE reads her books someday!
Scott Cantley
I felt like the characters were people I knew.
helensdottir

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Anne Lamott is an incredible essayist; her witty observations and naked divulgences make me want to call her up and ask her to be my best friend. I am, therefore, sad to admit that I don't feel fiction is the best mode for her to showcase her talent. In general, I feel her plots are often somewhat weak and her characterizations are uneven. However, I think she hits the mark more in All New People than in any of her other novels that I have, as yet, read. She remembers so clearly how she felt as a teenager, and expresses it in a wonderfully readable, and sometimes hilarious, way. The entire family was well-drawn in this book, particularly the relationship between the brother and sister. I could relate to a lot of it, and have already re-read it once.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Scott Cantley on November 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I think that Anne Lamott is one of the most amazing writers of our time! I have read everything she has ever written, both fiction and non-fiction and have always eagerly awaited her next book! I only wish that Oprah would discover her and then the rest of the world can find out what they have been missing! I know Anne has a devoted, loyal following but she deserves to be a best-selling author! All New People was the first book of Anne's that I read and I discovered it completely by accident when I picked it up in the bookstore one day. Her characters are so real and funny and ALL of her books ALWAYS make me laugh and cry! I feel as if I know her characters and her as well. I have recommended her books to all the readers I know and I hope EVERYONE reads her books someday! Anne,your books are wonderful !
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've read all Lamott's nonfiction and fallen in love with her wit, honesty, and spiritual searching. I approached this first fictional experience wondering if her personality and style would show through. The answer: Yes.
I couldn't help but feel I was reading one of Lamott's nonfiction pieces, actually recognizing characters, quotes, and anecdotes from her own life. This is inevitable in any fiction, I suppose, but Anne's style is so unique and strong that it was somewhat distracting to me.
I do intend to try another of her fictional works--I'll read anything of hers I can get my hands on. She is poignant without being melodramatic, funny without being insulting. I love Lamott's writing; in general, though, I think I prefer to read her real life experiences.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "flying_raven" on January 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is somewhat different than Lamott's other work, but I still enjoyed it thoroughly. It is about a girl named Nanny and her family and the sixties. It reads like a memoir, and my guess is it has very much basis in the reality that is the author's life. The narration has a very stream-of-consciousness feel to it, and covers a lot for such a quick read. I loved the way of storytelling--Nanny tells the story straight through the emotional center of the things that happen. Anyone who ever had a childhood will enjoy everything in this book. Even if that childhood wasn't in the sixties.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tamara Miller on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book was very similar to Lamotts Travelin Mercies....only fictionalzed. It was sad and sweet and in some parts you were left kind of hanging...not sure what was meant or felt. Then again, Anne Lamott does that to you. She challenges you to branch out in your way of thinking. It was a good read.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read this novel originally when I was about eleven years old, I felt compassion for the young character who tells the story and throroughly enjoyed the entire text. However, it may throw some for a loop that Annie works the way she does in this book-- it seems that this is the one novel that is told in a different fashion and it may be hard for Annie-fans to accept this. Nevertheless, it is a great read, as is Joe Jones (I reread it this summer... it is so good) which I hope is also released eventually.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. Young on June 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found this book by one of my favorite authors enjoyable up to a point.
Reading her non-fiction, it becomes clear that this is a highly autobiographical evocation of her home town. And she evokes all over the place, often beautifully. But as a novel, it doesn't hang together. It's essentially plotless, often confusing, as she tells the stories of 2 generations from multiple points of view. Anne was not skilled enough at this point of her career to pull it off.
A must for Lamott lovers, but hard to recommend for a general audience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When I read this book I was left feeling so much clearer on my own childhood and teenage years. Anne Lammot continues to shine, I am a very big fan of her writing, both fiction and non-fiction.
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