Category Archives: Spiritual Memoir

Thomas Merton, Sainthood, and Writing About One’s Own Life

I find Thomas Merton’s journals both inspiring and intimidating. They inspire me by opening all my senses to the world in front of me, and especially to the natural world. They intimidate me because they make me feel like a … Continue reading

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Scott Russell Sanders and Spiritual Memoir

The September, 2008, issue of The Writer’s Chronicle carried an interview with Scott Russell Sanders by Tom Montgomery Fate which makes a rewarding read. It’s full of nuggets worth pondering. As I begin to tackle the long-form memoir, Sanders is one of … Continue reading

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Memory of Trees: Another Farmer's Daughter Memoir

I love reviewing books for Christian Century magazine. If editor Richard Kauffman had not asked me to review this book, I may never have found it, and that would have been a great loss. You can find the review below … Continue reading

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Unfinished Business by Lee Kravitz: A Book Review

Like many of you, I am surrounded by books and paper everywhere I go.  Here in the red chair, which serves as my favorite office, magazines spill over each other on the both sides of me. In front of me … Continue reading

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Another Mennonite Memoir: The Steppes are the Colour of Sepia

 My fellow memoir reader Clif let me know that the review I wrote of the following book has now been published in the Mennonite Quarterly Review. It has not been posted online yet, so here it is for those of … Continue reading

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Lee Snyder's Memoir: Spiritual Reflections with Oregon, and Peace, at Center

Do you remember the scene in the movie As Good as It Gets when Jack Nicholson tells Helen Hunt, “You make me want to be a better person?” This book made me feel like that. Lee Snyder, whose life of … Continue reading

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Black is Universal: E. Ethelbert Miller Radio Interview on Speaking of Faith

E. Ethelbert Miller spoke to Krista Tippett recently on her American Public Media program “Speaking of Faith.”  Tippett described the conversation as a “jazz riff,” and I think you will agree that Miller, who is poet, spiritual seeker, memoirist, and … Continue reading

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Mary Karr and Augustine: Spiritual Autobiography in the 21st Century

Edward Short’s review of Mary Karr’s Lit (which I also reviewed here), contains a few paragraphs very relevant to all memoir writers. I invite you to read the complete review here. Short’s insights are brilliant. Here are the four most relevant … Continue reading

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Huston Smith's Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine–A Review

If you want to spring out of bed tomorrow morning, saying, “Good!” I suggest you read this book the night before. And if you want a role model for how to age with zest and enthusiasm, even to the extent … Continue reading

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Love and Death: Forrest Church's Testimony and a Mini-Memoir

Forrest Church’s voice rings in my head today. I finished his memoir last night, and  many of his themes are ones deeply embedded in my own life.  His 2008 book, Love & Death: My Journey Through the Valley of the … Continue reading

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