Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography

( 1 )


An award–winning writer delivers a major reckoning with religion, place, and sexuality in the aftermath of 9/11

Hailed in The Washington Post as “one of the most eloquent and probing public intellectuals in America,” Richard Rodriguez now considers religious violence worldwide, growing public atheism in the West, and his own mortality.

Rodriguez’s stylish new memoir—the first book in a decade from the Pulitzer Prize finalist—moves from ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $3.26   
  • New (11) from $3.26   
  • Used (8) from $5.19   
Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


An award–winning writer delivers a major reckoning with religion, place, and sexuality in the aftermath of 9/11

Hailed in The Washington Post as “one of the most eloquent and probing public intellectuals in America,” Richard Rodriguez now considers religious violence worldwide, growing public atheism in the West, and his own mortality.

Rodriguez’s stylish new memoir—the first book in a decade from the Pulitzer Prize finalist—moves from Jerusalem to Silicon Valley, from Moses to Liberace, from Lance Armstrong to Mother Teresa. Rodriguez is a homosexual who writes with love of the religions of the desert that exclude him. He is a passionate, unorthodox Christian who is always mindful of his relationship to Judaism and Islam because of a shared belief in the God who revealed himself within an ecology of emptiness. And at the center of this book is a consideration of women—their importance to Rodriguez’s spiritual formation and their centrality to the future of the desert religions.

Only a mind as elastic and refined as Rodriguez’s could bind these threads together into this wonderfully complex tapestry.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rodriguez (Hunger of Memory) wrote so many well-received essays on the American religious climate after 9/11, often in the context of his own struggle in faith, that he turned them into a book-length narrative about his Roman Catholic formation during the past decade. His pilgrimage begins with "the realization that the God I worship is... the same desert God the terrorists prayed ," meanders through ruminations on "small wounds" in a meditation that involves Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow, and comes to a slow finish with a smile from Christopher Hitchens and a brief tribute to Mother Teresa. Much like his writing, Rodriguez has been all over the place, traveling, thinking, observing. By the end of his book, he leaves the reader feeling like it all fits together, as if all his essays give "a sense—no, not a sense, a reason—why everyone matters." And more importantly, Rodriguez doesn't beat this discovery over the reader's head but unpacks it gently, over the course of years, in seemingly disjointed stories that explain one writer's journey to a God of many. Agent: Georges Borchardt, Georges Borchardt Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Rodriguez (editor, Pacific News Svc.) has long been something of a darling among readers for his memoirs Hunger of Memory and Days of Obligation, books that touch with unusual eloquence on his rich experience of his Mexican heritage, his sexuality, and his negotiations with politics and culture. This latest work, stemming from a piece he wrote for Harper's in 2008, is about his difficult confrontation with both God and the experience of emptiness; Lance Armstrong, Mother Teresa, and others make appearances as well. VERDICT Engaging and readable, this highly personal and candid discovery of the fullness of God in the silence of life's deserts may not offer anything new to spiritual seekers but will delight Rodriguez's fans.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
An acclaimed gay intellectual and journalist's musings on the state of and interrelationship among Christianity, Judaism and Islam in the post-9/11 digital age. In this collection of essays, Rodriguez stylishly delves into the meaning of life, death, sexuality and the printed word in the 21st century by examining his own Christian faith. The events of 9/11 awakened him to the fact that the God he worshipped as a Catholic was "the same desert God [to which] the terrorists prayed." He went to Jerusalem to experience the "ecology" of the place that gave rise to not only Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam. In the emptiness of the desert, the printed word came to have sacred status for all three religions. What partially distinguished them were notions of paradise. "For Jews," he writes, "Eden was pre-desert [and] [f]or Christians and Muslims, paradise…[was] post-desert." Rodriguez transforms his insights into lenses through which he views not only himself and the gay community to which he belongs, but also American culture. A friend's Easter Sunday death from AIDS in the Las Vegas desert becomes an occasion to ponder the campy neon paradise the city represents. A beloved female friend he refers to only as "Darling" becomes the focal point for witty meditations on how Rodriguez's own place as a homosexual in both the church and society depends on female empowerment, or lack thereof. The death of newspapers becomes a way for the author to reflect on the rise of technology. In this new "enlarging, unstable [and] ethereal" world, the former weightiness of words has been replaced by a disturbing relativism. Like newspapers, sacred texts such as the Bible, Torah and Quran become little more than objects stripped of meaning. With compassion and profundity of vision, Rodriguez offers a compelling view of modern spirituality that is as multifaceted as it is provocative.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143125884
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 165,704
  • Product dimensions: 5.21 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Rodriguez is the author of Hunger of Memory, Brown, and Days of Obligation. He is a fellow of New America Media. He was a long-time contributor to PBS and continues to write for Harper's Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in San Francisco.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautifully Written & Insightful Spiritual Memoir Rodriguez

    Beautifully Written & Insightful Spiritual Memoir

    Rodriguez has proven himself, once again, as one of America’s most insightful essayist on religion, spirituality, and the human existence. His poetic prose is remarkably engaging, gliding imperceptibly from philosophy to anecdote. Similarly, his vision is at once moving and provocative, and the content strongly resonates with the modern religious climate and paradoxes of faith. Darling serves as further evidence that Rodriguez is a master at his craft and has an abundance to offer in the spiritual realm as well. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)