cover image And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy

And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy

Adrian Shirk. Counterpoint, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-61902-953-8

Essayist and columnist Shirk embarks on a quest to discover the diversity of American women’s spirituality across the centuries. A mix of travelogue, memoir, and spiritual journey, this eclectic collection of essays, remembrances, anecdotes, and histories reveals Shirk’s desire to “overthrow the monopoly of the pulpit” in order to highlight the contributions of women philosophers, writers, and spiritual leaders who have inspired her. Traveling across the country, Shirk writes about Mary Baker Eddy’s founding of Christian Science, Flannery O’Connor’s Catholic beliefs, Linda Goodman’s mix of astrology and religious doctrine, Aimee Semple McPherson’s Pentecostal faith healing, Eliza Snow’s writing on the role of women in the Mormon church, and Sojourner Truth’s optimism and belief in the Holy Spirit. Shirk travels to New Orleans to research the life of voodoo queen Marie Laveau, visits the Lily Dale Spiritualism colony to commune with the departed, and attends a Lakota yuwipi healing ceremony. Shirk writes with sincerity as she calmly details events, observations, and conjectures. In these stirring vignettes, she mixes historical accounts, interpretations, and fictionalized encounters to provide insight into her personal journey tracing the steps of American women who have sought out an alternative spirituality. (Aug.)