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The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness Paperback – February 22, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 427 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Enjoyable and deeply interesting. . . . Very rewarding.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“A story about becoming human, being recognized, finally recognizing oneself. . . . It fills the reader with hope.” –The Washington Post Book World

“Riveting. . . . It’s a pleasure to read simply because it’s honest and hopeful. . . . Armstrong is such an evocative writer.” –Newsday

“I loved this powerful and moving account, and read it nonstop.” –Elaine Pagels, author of Beyond Belief

“In . . . Armstrong’s memoir there lurks wisdom about the making and remaking of a life . . . from which all of us could learn.” –The New York Times Book Review

“A powerful memoir. . . . Buoyed by keen intelligence and unflinching self-awareness and honesty. . . . Armstrong is an engaging, energetic writer.” –The Christian Science Monitor

“Candid and compelling, and the sentences are flawless.” –The Dallas Morning News

From the Back Cover

In 1962, at age seventeen, Karen Armstrong entered a convent, eager to meet God. After seven brutally unhappy years as a nun, she left her order to pursue English literature at Oxford. But convent life had profoundly altered her, and coping with the outside world and her expiring faith proved to be excruciating. Her deep solitude and a terrifying illness-diagnosed only years later as epilepsy-marked her forever as an outsider. In her own mind she was a complete failure: as a nun, as an academic, and as a normal woman capable of intimacy. Her future seemed very much in question until she stumbled into comparative theology. What she found, in learning, thinking, and writing about other religions, was the ecstasy and transcendence she had never felt as a nun. Gripping, revelatory, and inspirational, The Spiral Staircase" is an extraordinary account of an astonishing spiritual journey.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anchor; Reprint edition (February 22, 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 305 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0385721277
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0385721271
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
427 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2011
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Top reviews from other countries

stwk
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is as good as the first one and I enjoyed reading it ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2018
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lizziebee
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2017
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3 people found this helpful
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J P Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving and insightful pilgrimage.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2014
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clarence
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely brilliant. I highly recommend this book to everyone who ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 4, 2018
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Mrs. E. A. Marks
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - I have huge admiration for Karen Armstrong
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 6, 2017
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