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Anne LamottInternationally best-selling author Anne Lamott's appearance at Clarion University–Venango Campus on April 18 will cap a "Community Read," a book club open to the public that begins on Wednesday, January 25. Featuring Lamott's Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, the "Community Read" will feature discussion groups and lectures led by English faculty members Dr. Ellen Foster and Dr. Natalie Dorfield. Participants should purchase the book prior to the first meeting.

Anne Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. But armed with self-effacing humor - she is laugh out-loud funny - and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment. She wrote her first novel for her father, the writer Kenneth Lamott, when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has said that the book was "a present to someone I loved who was going to die."

In all her novels, Anne Lamott writes about loss - loss of loved ones and loss of personal control. She doesn't try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice. She says, "I have a lot of hope and a lot of faith and I struggle to communicate that." Anne Lamott does communicate her faith; in her books and in person, she lifts, comforts, and inspires, all the while keeping us laughing.

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. She has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at University of California Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country. 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 Lamott's last collection of essays is Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. Her new novel, entitled Imperfect Birds, was published in Spring 2010. Her next book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son, will be non-fiction and released in Spring 2012.

Dr. Foster will open the "Community Read" on January 25. Other meeting dates are February 1 and 22 and March 22. All meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in Robert W. Rhoades Center.

Anne Lamott will appear on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 pm.

Clarion University–Venango Campus, located in Oil City, is the oldest regional campus in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The campus provides high-quality educational programs and personalized services to help students succeed. Students can begin any of Clarion University's 90+ bachelor's degrees at the Venango Campus, earn an associate degree, a bachelor's or master's degree in select areas, obtain a one-year certificate or participate in a variety of professional development and personal enrichment courses. The campus is home to Clarion University's School of Nursing and Allied Health, the Department of Applied Technology, and the Venango Department of Arts and Sciences. Clarion University–Venango Campus is committed to serving the needs of the community.
1/19/2012 12:45 PM

Best-selling Author Anne Lamott Focus of “Community Read” at Venango Campus