"I've written six novels and four pieces of nonfiction, so I don't really have a genre these days." -- Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott (born April 10, 1954) is a novelist and non-fiction writer. She is also a political activist, public speaker and writing teacher. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her nonfiction works are largely autobiographical. Marked by their self-deprecating humor and openness, Lamott's writings cover such subjects as alcoholism, being a single mother, depression and Christianity.
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.""I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.""Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.""Seeing yourself in print is such an amazing concept: you can get so much attention without having to actually show up somewhere... You don't have to dress up, for instance, and you can't hear them boo you right away.""We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society.""When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.""You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
Lamott was born in San Francisco, and is a graduate of Drew School. Her father, Kenneth Lamott, was also a writer. His death was the focus of her first published novel Hard Laughter. She has one son, Sam, who was born in 1989 and a grandson, Jax.
Lamott's life was documented in Freida Lee Mock's 1999 documentary Bird by Bird with Annie: A Film Portrait of Writer Anne Lamott. Because of the documentary and her following on Facebook and other online networks, she is often called the "People's Author".
Lamott has described why she writes: "I try to write the books I would love to come upon, that are honest, concerned with real lives, human hearts, spiritual transformation, families, secrets, wonder, craziness...and that can make me laugh. When I am reading a book like this, I feel rich and profoundly relieved to be in the presence of someone who will share the truth with me, and throw the lights on a little, and I try to write these kinds of books. Books, for me, are medicine." Lamott is cited as a writer who captures well the style of narrative nonfiction called particularism, coined by Howard Freeman.
Bochynski, Pegge. (2010) "Anne Lamott" in American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies, Supplement XX, Mary Antin to Phillis Wheatley. Ed. Jay Parini. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons p131-146.