cover image Prayers from a Nonbeliever: A Story of Faith

Prayers from a Nonbeliever: A Story of Faith

Julia Cameron. Jeremy P. Tarcher, $18.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-1-58542-213-5

In this earnest and somewhat repetitive volume, Cameron-novelist, filmmaker, journalist, librettist, playwright, etc., and the author of the international bestseller The Artist's Way-ruminates on the identity of God, the power of creative energy and the meaning and consequences of faith. Framed as a series of letters to God from an anonymous ""nonbeliever,"" a man of some means and much doubt, Cameron's book follows the ""I"" of the letter-prayers as he progresses from a kind of lazy agnosticism (""I don't officially believe in you"") through a ""a creeping sense of, alright, optimism"" all the way to authentic belief (""I have put out the lit cigarette of cynicism smoldering on the sofa of my consciousness""). In his ""conversations"" with God, the narrator struggles with a job he detests, a sister whose passivity in an unhealthy relationship angers him, a longing for creative work and, perhaps most poignantly, an abiding loneliness. Readers of The Artist's Way and its many offshoots will find some of the material familiar-e.g., Cameron's attention to the Jungian concept of synchronicity and her belief in Matthew's ""Ask and you shall receive"" dictum. And though the letters repeat themselves and sometime feel a little whiny (hey, faith isn't easy, Cameron seems to say), Cameron's legions of fans will appreciate her honesty and her generosity of spirit. For those who seek company on the path to belief in self and ""spiritual electricity,"" Cameron is a warm and expert guide. (Mar.)