Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's All Art

In college, when postmodern was such a revelation and performance art entered our vocabularies, we used to look at the pizza boxes stacked in the branches of a tree or the postcards someone would write his dreams on and mail to random people from the phone book and say, philosophically, "It's all art."

I've been reading Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott, and I think the point she's trying to make with this book is, "It's all God."

Now, when you read a book with a subtitle like Thoughts on Faith, you expect that message, and I'm not at all bothered by the message. It's really one of the reasons I loved Traveling Mercies and Plan B so much; because she was talking about faith as something that gets you through the day.

But this book just doesn't live up to that. She's come to the point of being one of the reasons I'm skeptical of memoirs--they're too often just anecdotes about lives of people whose lives are really only marginally more interesting than mine, and really, mostly just grimmer. Her first two books painted her as a marginally neurotic recovering alcoholic who was working hard on herself and learning life lessons as she went. This book, though almost identical in structure and nature, takes that description and eliminates the word "marginally," her work doesn't seem to be getting anywhere (short temper, complete inability to handle minor setbacks), and her slice of life anecdotes are actually quite hard to find lessons in.

I got through it because it was a fast read. But I can't recommend it, I'm sorry. Though I have to say, I'm still looking forward to reading Operating Instructions, the memoir of her completely unprepared first year as a single parent.

No comments: