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Devotion: A Memoir A Memoir (Hardcover)

Author:  Dani Shapiro
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Devotion: A Memoir Shapiro, Dani 1 of 1
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FORMAT: Hardcover
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Product Details:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0061628344
ISBN-13: 9780061628344
Sku: 211424450
Publish Date: 1/26/2010
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.5H x 5.75L x 1.25T
Pages:  245
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In her mid-forties and settled into the responsibilities and routines of adulthood, Dani Shapiro found herself with more questions than answers. Was this all life was-a hodgepodge of errands, dinner dates, e-mails, meetings, to-do lists? What did it all mean?

Having grown up in a deeply religious and traditional family, Shapiro had no personal sense of faith, despite repeated attempts to create a connection to something greater. Feeling as if she was plunging headlong into what Carl Jung termed "the afternoon of life," she wrestled with self-doubt and a searing disquietude that would awaken her in the middle of the night. Set adrift by loss-her father's early death; the life-threatening illness of her infant son; her troubled relationship with her mother-she had become edgy and uncertain. At the heart of this anxiety, she realized, was a challenge: What did she believe? Spurred on by the big questions her young son began to raise, Shapiro embarked upon a surprisingly joyful quest to find meaning in a constantly changing world. The result is Devotion: a literary excavation to the core of a life.

In this spiritual detective story, Shapiro explores the varieties of experience she has pursued-from the rituals of her black hat Orthodox Jewish relatives to yoga shalas and meditation retreats. A reckoning of the choices she has made and the knowledge she has gained, Devotion is the story of a woman whose search for meaning ultimately leads her home. Her journey is at once poignant and funny, intensely personal-and completely universal.

In this stirring memoir, Dani Shapiro discusses how the combination of the haunting loss of her parents and her infant son's frightening illness led her to confront her spiritual apathy and seek fulfillment. Shapiro was raised in a devout Jewish household, but her faith was always more dutiful than genuine, and the death of her parents virtually severed her ties to her religion. Her son's brush with death reinvigorated her desire for spirituality, which she sought from various sources, including Buddhist teachers, her yoga instructors, and a rabbi. Shapiro superbly elucidates the personal dilemmas and enigmas she encountered during her search for answers, as she finds that fidelity to a single faith will not sufficiently satisfy her spiritual needs.


"What's successful in DEVOTION is Shapiro's method of stringing together disparate moments, lapsed memories and present-day realities, demonstrating that spiritual journeys are not linear. There are moments of wit and wonderful wordplay, and I never doubted Shapiro's integrity, as a writer or as someone struggling with faith. But in the end, the movement is lateral. She is a travel writer unwilling to travel." - Kerri Arsenault 03/01/2010

"Shapiro is a gifted chronicler of frayed nerves....In short, lyrical bursts of prose, [she] explores various flavors of belief that exist, she says, 'on the other side of logic'..." - Judith Newman 02/28/2010

"[Shapiro] tries to shed her competitive impulses, her envy, her fondness for pretty things, but she is most authentic and likable when she allows herself to be critical and cranky....In the end, Shapiro seems to have made peace with herself and her family traditions by living 'by an eclectic array of rituals, by many different books.' " - Barbara Fisher 02/14/2010

Product Attributes
Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0245
Product attributePublisher:   Harper
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