Raised by a lapsed Baptist mother and secular Jewish father, Winner feels a drive toward God as powerful as her drives toward books and boys. Twice she has attempted to read her way into religion to Orthodox Judaism her freshman year at Columbia, and then four years later at Cambridge to Anglican Christianity. Twice she has discovered that a religion's actual practitioners may not measure up to its theoretical proponents. (Invariably the boyfriends or their mothers disappoint.) It is easier to say what this book is not than what it is. It is not a conversion memoir: Winner's movement in and out of religious frames, but does not tell, her tale. It is not a defense of either faith (there is something here to offend every reader); and Winner, a doctoral candidate in the history of religion, is in her 20s young for autobiography. Because most chapters, though loosely related to the Christian church year, could stand alone, it resembles a collection of essays; but the ensemble is far too unified to deserve that label. Clearly it is memoir, literary and spiritual, sharing Anne Lamott's self-deprecating intensity and Stephen J. Dubner's passion for authenticity. Though Winner does not often scrutinize her motives, she reveals herself through abundant, concrete and often funny descriptions of her life, inner and outer. Winner's record of her own experience so far is a page-turning debut by a young writer worth watching.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Adult/High School-This memoir explores the transition from childhood to adulthood in a voice that is often sophisticated and learned, and occasionally naive and almost gossipy, as the author shares with candor her family ties, friendships, and love affairs. Winner is the daughter of a Reform Jewish father and a Southern Baptist mother, neither of whom talked much about God during her early years. She describes growing up in a liberal synagogue and experimenting with body tattoos, even though "-Jewish law forbids tattoos, plain and simple." As a teen, she questioned everything, and her search became inextricably bound to her social and intellectual life. She writes as one would recall pivotal events in life's journey, and not in a linear fashion. After fervently embracing Orthodox Judaism during college, she was drawn to Christianity, each change following much reading and soul-searching. Mentored by an Anglican priest during her years as a graduate student at Cambridge, she eventually took comfort in becoming a "lifestyle evangelist," which she describes as "-living a good, God-fearing, Gospel-exuding life." Now she is a doctoral student at Columbia. She admits to both a "cherished intellectual snobbery" and to being "faintly embarrassed about the role Jan Karon's Mitford novels played in my conversion." Not a treatise on comparative religion, this is an engaging story of one bright young woman's quest for faith.
Molly Connally, Chantilly Regional Library, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Read this book for Book Club. Would not have read it otherwise. Arrived in condition described. Thank you.Published 1 month ago by narmfield
God help me I love divas. For the last 20 years I have happily allowed myself to be pulled into the orbit of one hyper-intelligent, wild, artistic, spiritual, passionate,... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy
One great read about one woman's spiritual path...highly recommend.Published 8 months ago by Grace Camille Lyons
I read a review by a clergy person so I expected it to be much better. I read it but would not recommend it to anyone else.Published 9 months ago by peggy iseminger
It was eerie how much I related to Lauren--her love of God, books, scholarship, and learning. Her path to Christian faith is wonderful to read.Published 9 months ago by E. C. Gordon
I love, love, love Lauren. Great book. I reflect back on her life's story as mine unfolds... and she gives me inspiration...Published 12 months ago by Terri W. Degenhardt