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“Anne Lamott is my Oprah.” —Chicago Tribune
The New York Times bestseller from the author of Almost Everything and Bird by Bird, a powerful exploration of mercy and how we can embrace it.
"Mercy is radical kindness," Anne Lamott writes in her enthralling and heartening book, Hallelujah Anyway. It's the permission you give others—and yourself—to forgive a debt, to absolve the unabsolvable, to let go of the judgment and pain that make life so difficult.
In Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by "facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves." It's up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere—"within us and outside us, all around us"—and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it's crucial, as "kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all."
Full of Lamott’s trademark honesty, humor and forthrightness, Hallelujah Anyway is profound and caring, funny and wise—a hopeful book of hands-on spirituality.
With her trademark humor and candor, Lamott (Help, Thanks, Wow) explores the scriptural imperative from Old Testament Prophet Micah to "love mercy," reviewing both the difficulties and the life-changing rewards of obeying this mandate. Casting a fresh eye on well-known biblical figures such as Jonah, the Good Samaritan, and Lazarus, Lamott drolly attests to the subversive yet sustaining power of simple acts of kindness in the face of life's inevitable devastations: "This collective, imperfect, hesitant help is another kind of miracle. Naturally one wants to avoid these kinds of miracles." Lamott's collective first-person voice makes generalizations that may not resonate with all her readers ("Learning to read gave us a true oasis, salvation"), but in revealing her painful personal struggles, she taps into universal feelings. For example, Lamott recalls the fallout brought on by a "snarky public comment" she made that not only elicited public castigation ("My attackers were like a mob with pitchforks, shaming adorable, progressive me") but, worse, caused an excruciating rift with her son. As in previous works, Lamott's courageous honesty and humility, laced with wit and compassion, offer wisdom and hope for difficult times.