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Raised Congregationalist in New England, Mairs is a convert to Catholicism. She is also a feminist, a radical, a political activist -- and all this in a church that tends to scorn her kind of progressive iconoclasm. "A Dynamic God" explores why and how Mairs deals with those contradictions and still identifies as Catholic, and what she finds to love in that tradition. Doctrinally, Mairs parts ways with the mainstream Church with few regrets. The people she worships with celebrate communion in each others homes without a priest, discuss politics, and defy Church opposition. But the Catholic rituals and imaginative structures that Mairs loves shape her life. In the Latino image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, for instance, she finds inspiration for a commitment to social justice. In her unmistakable, vibrant voice, she writes about sin and abundance; understanding vocation in a life circumscribed by multiple sclerosis; and celebrating life.
In a series of personal essays, Nancy Mairs writes about her lifelong relationship with spirituality and organized religion. Raised a Congregationalist in New England, she converts to Catholicism as an adult. The essays deal frontally with issues in the author's marriage, including a series of infidelities; forgiveness is a major theme.
In "Plaintext" -- an anthology of essays -- Mairs discusses in a lucid, coherent voice the realities of living with multiple sclerosis, her suicide attempts and depression and most importantly what she has learned. Five of the essays have previously been published elsewhere, while the other seven are original works discussing the changing roles of women in society.
Few have succeeded so well in illuminating the paradox of living with the reality of death as essayist Nancy Mairs in this unflinching look at assisted suicide, the death penalty, and other life-and-death decisions.
In a tribute to the liberating power of literature and feminist ideas, she explores other women's writing, showing how their work helped ground her own love of literature and writing; other essay subjects include writing and the body, the challenges of autobiography, the "literature of personal disaster", and the art of dealing with rejection.
Sallie Bingham - The New Mexican Graceful yet gritty paradoxes drive this extraordinary book, which uses the author's degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, as a window into a very particular soul....Let the reader understand: this is not a book about MS, or illness; rather, it's a chronicle of inspired adaption, spiritual as well as physical...The aim is the creation of joy. Donna Seaman - Booklist Mairs's physical view of the world may be waist-high, but her intellectual and spiritual range is limitless. Kathy Wolfe - The Progressive As helpful as Mairs's book will be to disable people, what's most important about it is its lessons for able-bodied readers. Marian Sandmeier - The Washington Post Book World Woe is not her, as she makes clear throughout this absorbing, laceratingly honest book....This social construction of disability...is what Mairs most wants us to "get" in this passionate, penetrating book-and then get over. Michael Haederle - Los Angeles Times Vintage Mairs: sharply observed, deeply personal and always direct.
In a blend of intimate memoir and passionate advocacy, Nancy Mairs takes on the subject woven through all her writing: disability and its effect on life, work, and spirit.
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