Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Anne Lamott, Author Pantheon Books $21 (251p) ISBN 978-0-679-42091-0
Magazine columnist and novelist Lamott ( All New People ) captures both the poignancy and comedy of her first year as a single mother in this wonderfully candid diary. Her quirky humor steadily draws the reader into her unconventional world as she describes her friends and neighbors in northern California, her participation in a local church, her experiences as a recovering alcoholic and--best of all--her infant son, Sam, born in 1989. She covers maternal emotions from rapturous bliss to bare fury (``In the middle of the colic death marches, I end up looking at the baby with those hooded eyes that were in the old ads for The Boston Strangler ''). Throughout, she airs her strong political and religious beliefs. And when her best friend, Pammy, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Lamott conveys her anguish with the same depth of feeling and sense of the absurd that characterize her observations about her son, God, recovery, writing, Republicans, men and life as usual. Even non-parents will enjoy this glowing work. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1993
Release date: 04/01/1993
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