Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Literary Lamott

Armistead Maupin said Anne Lamott is the only Christian he liked. I heard Ms. Lamott speak years ago. She was simply brilliant. Her book on writing, Bird by Bird, is one of those books you simply must read.

If you have the chance to catch this woman speak, do!

There was a fuss over an appearance she was going to make on September 19th. Read on:

Fans of Anne Lamott in Omaha have rallied to secure an appearance by the author in the wake of an abrupt cancellation by local Jesuit institution Creighton University. The school had invited Lamott long ago for a paid appearance on September 19 as part of their annual Women and Health Lecture Series, and an overflow crowd of 1,200 had already signed up to attend.But a group of local Catholics "deluged" the Omaha Archdiocese with phone calls and e-mails earlier this month in protest over Lamott's personal views on assisted suicide and abortion.

Creighton officials had already asked Lamott if she would "stay on topic" with the theme of lecture series, according to her lecture agent Steven Barclay, and she had reassured them that she "didn't need to be a spokesperson on [the controversial] topics." (Lamott indicated the same directly to the Omaha World-Record.)

Nonetheless, Creighton decided to cancel the engagement--after first asking if Lamott would back out, but Barclay indicated that she never cancels a booking. Lamott also declined to keep the lecture fee that was owed to her. Creighton spokesperson Kathryn Clark told the local newspaper, "We have decided that the key points she makes are in opposition to Catholic teaching. That makes her an inappropriate choice."

Despite whatever local pressure was brought to bear on Creighton, there was equal if not greater support for having Lamott appear. As Barclay notes, "She's a real galvanizing force in the progressive Christian movement. Those people were outraged and I think rightfully so." Rev. Nancy Brink of Omaha's North Side Christian Church quickly organized a coalition of six local churches, which has secured a larger 2,000-seat venue where Lamott will now speak on the same day.


jasonphoon said...

I'm guessing that the 6 local churches are not catholic ?

on a sidenote, september 19th is international talk like a pirate day .. garrrr

Don Cummings said...

I love her like crazy.
I had an aunt who was a serious Catholic, but very much liberal and progressive like the fabulous Ms. L. She was always a pleasure to talk to. I loved Bird by Bird. I've read it twice. She is a true inspiration.

Liz said...

I just don't get why people feel they have to agree with everything someone thinks. If I wanted to hear myself speak, and hear my own ideas parroted back to me, I could go talk to a mirror. Good for the other folks who organized the coalition.

circuitmouse said...

She's a woman of great integrity; if you ever get a chance to here her, do. I'm glad to count her books among those that grace my shelves at home.

Sundry said...

What are people so afraid of? If your convictions are so fragile that you can't even hear another opinion, what does that say for your belief system? Sigh.

Jun said...

i'm a big fan of anne lamott.

Pete said...

Me too, one of my heroes. I wish I could be as honest as she is in her nonfiction... hopefully someday. I have read all her nonfiction, but none of her fiction, has anyone? Amazing how close minded people are... what a shame for them.