Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage

Riverhead. Mar. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9780593189696. $20. MEMOIR
By turns wise, funny, tragic, mystical, visionary, and imaginative, Lamott’s latest book after Almost Everything: Notes on Hope will appeal to a wide range of readers who have previously enjoyed her relatable writing. Readers new to Lamott are opening themselves to a real treat, as her abilities as a storyteller are in full form in this latest book. Beginning with her first marriage at age 65, Lamott, proceeds to detail her life with a characteristic humor based in profound spirituality, offering insight into relationships with her husband, father, and spiritual advisers. Though she is a born-again Christian, she also shares how friendships with Buddhists and Jesuits have influenced her life and teachings. Amusing anecdotes are offered throughout. Her Sunday school students bring her great joy and frustrations. She riffs on the Grimm fairy tale of Six Swans, noting how she relates to the youngest brother with one arm and one wing: “weird, beautiful, hobbled, beloved.” Although each chapter stands on its own and can be read separately, the full impact of the book comes toward the end when Lamott writes about the events that led to her recovery from alcoholism.
VERDICT Another standout from Lamott that will have wide appeal.
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