Mark Salzman received critical acclaim for Iron & Silk, his personal account of two years spent in China. In Lying Awake, he creates a fascinating spiritual landscape that lies behind the walls of a monastery. Readers around the world praise the beauty and originality of this novel. Sister John has devoted her life to serving God. For almost 30 years she has lived in a Carmelite monastery near Los Angeles. There, she experiences religious visions of such intensity that she is revered by the other nuns. But these visions also bring on excruciating headaches. When she is offered an operation that may stop the pain, she realizes that it may also stop the visions. Now Sister John wonders how this change will affect her faith. Lying Awake is an eloquent examination of religious experience that transcends the boundaries of church and doctrine. Narrator Linda Stephens perfectly conveys Sister John's thoughts, feelings, and visions.
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by Mark Salzman
by Lee Smith
by Anne C. George
by Loula Grace Erdman
by Angela Davis-Gardner
by Gish Jen
by Jane Yolen
by Katherine Paterson
by Emily Grayson
"Salzman creates a thought-provoking tale of Sister John, a Carmelite nun who, after thirty years in a monastery, begins experiencing religious visions. Her writings on the subject attract a little attention and make money for things like a new roof. When her doctor tells her that her visions are caused by epilepsy, which can be cured with an operation, what follows is her struggle with the prickly issues of the incorporeal versus the material world. Narrator Linda Stephens uses slow and steady pacing filled with pauses to suggest the contemplative life. The overall tone is somber and reflective. She gives Sister John a questioning air that feels right, yet she still manages to convey the great joy the heroine feels receiving, as she believes, the grace of God. The pace and mood fit the subject, and listeners will appreciate the unhurried moments to consider all this thoughtful story has to offer. D.G. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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