Operating Instructions Essay

Anne Lamott
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Ozersky is a critic and essayist. In this essay, he discusses an overlooked aspect of Lamott's book—its deep religious underpinnings.

Religion, on the face of it, would seem to be the last thing Lamott's Operating Instructions is about. Primarily, it's about a baby: his face is on the cover, and the book's subtitle is A Journal of My Son's First Year. Lamott is pro-choice, dislikes Republicans, lives in San Francisco, and is a single mother with liberal convictions. The book is packed with pop-culture references and profanity. Only rarely does the author explicitly talk about God, and then often in a facetious way. But a good case could be made for Operating Instructions being an essentially religious book.

To understand how, it's important to understand Lamott, both as an author and as a character in her memoir. Any author who writes about themselves,even if they are...

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This section contains 1,327 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Operating Instructions Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Operating Instructions from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.