Anne Lamott

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Anne Lamott is the author of seven novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, Blue Shoe, All New People, and Crooked Little Heart (the sequel to Rosie), as well as five bestselling books of non-fiction, Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son's first year and Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, a guide to writing and the challenges of a writer's life, Traveling Mercies, a collection of autobiographical essays on faith, and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Anne Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country. Anne's biweekly Salon Magazine "online diary," Word by Word, was voted The Best of the Web by TIME magazine. Filmmaker Freida Mock (who won an Academy Award for her documentary on Maya Lin) has made a documentary on Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird with Annie (1999). Anne's last collection of essays is Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. Her most recent novel, entitled Imperfect Birds, was published in Spring 2010. In the Fall of 2010 Anne Lamott was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Her latest book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son, is non-fiction and was released in Spring 2012. In her next book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (November 2012), Anne gives us three prayers to assist us in trying times. She is also working on an essay collection entitled As in Life: New and Selected Pieces, about moving through grief and loss.

Author photo © Sam Lamott

Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interview with Anne Lamott:
Radical Self-Care Changes Everything »

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Anne Lamott: Radical Self-Care Changes Everything

Anne Lamott is the celebrated author of many books of fiction, essays, and memoirs. Her works include Bird by Bird, Hallelujah Anyway, and Crooked Little Heart. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge originally recorded for The Self-Acceptance Summit, Tami Simon speaks with Anne about acts of “radical self-care” and how they are essential for anyone’s well-being. Anne talks about self-acceptance as an innately feminist concept, especially around issues of body image and self-esteem. Finally, Anne and Tami discuss how it is necessary to fully accept oneself before being able to show up for others, and why modern society often argues the opposite. (54 minutes)

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Being Witnessed In Grief Is A Powerful Balm For Healin...

Dear friends,

Two days after my cat, Hedda, died in 2016, my friend Francis sent me a sketch with a note “from” Hedda that read, in part, “P.S. I love you more than tuna.” Through my tears, I thought that would be a great book title. I had a clear vision: an illustrated gift book that people would give to friends, family, colleagues, or clients after the loss of their cat. A step beyond a sympathy card, this would be the first “empathy book” for adults grieving the loss of a cat.

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Inspired in part by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell’s Guardians of Being and Charles M. Schultz’s Happiness is a Warm Puppy, P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna offers comfort and inspiration through New Yorker-style drawings and simple, evocative language. My goal was to make it heartfelt without being cloying.

Every year, six million Americans and Canadians must say a final goodbye to their cats—buddies who leapt into their hearts as kittens, purred away heartbreak through multiple breakups, snuggled by their side in homes large and small, and occasionally deleted folders of work by stretching out on a warm keyboard.

“Pet loss” is considered a disenfranchised form of grief; it’s not culturally sanctioned. We don’t have any universal rituals for this grief, like sitting shiva or holding a wake. This often leaves the bereaved feeling isolated and misunderstood, which compounds the grief and makes healing more difficult.

People grieving companion animals have a need to be seen, their grief validated. Being witnessed in grief is a powerful balm for healing.

Friends of those grieving companion animals are often at a loss for ways to show their support. P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna gives all of us the opportunity to make a profound impact with a simple gesture.

When Francis sent me the sketch and note, I felt seen. Francis’s gift acknowledged the bond I’d had with Hedda and my grief at her death. The present tense of the note also reminded me that Hedda was still with me, even if I couldn’t see her. That was significant in terms of helping me heal, and that’s the comfort I hope P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna will provide to other cat lovers.

Sounds True has created a lovely video preview for P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna. I hope you’ll check it out below.

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Ultimately, I hope this book will benefit the world in multiple ways: for the recipient, witnessing and healing; for the giver, a tangible action they can take to help another; for Best Friends Animal Society, to which I’m donating 10 percent of my proceeds, contributing to their work of keeping pets in the home. This includes helping low-income people connect with resources they need to feed, train, and care for their companion animals. And of course, I hope this will benefit Sounds True and their work in the world, which is quickly becoming more needed than ever.

Take care,

Sarah Chauncey

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