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Firstlight: The Early Inspirational Writings

Overview

From the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and the new novel The Invention of Wings (Viking, January 2014) comes a thoughtful, revelatory book of writings on self and spirit

Before she won an international readership with her novels, Sue Monk Kidd was best known for her smart, passionate spiritual writings. Now many of those early stories and essays (most of which first appeared in Guideposts) are collected in one volume, organized around thirteen spiritual motifs. ...

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Overview

From the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and the new novel The Invention of Wings (Viking, January 2014) comes a thoughtful, revelatory book of writings on self and spirit

Before she won an international readership with her novels, Sue Monk Kidd was best known for her smart, passionate spiritual writings. Now many of those early stories and essays (most of which first appeared in Guideposts) are collected in one volume, organized around thirteen spiritual motifs. In Firstlight, Kidd charts her emergence as a writer and seeker; reflects on her roles as wife, mother, daughter, nurse, and artist; and assesses what she has learned in settings as far-flung as Africa and her own home. The result is an intimate, uplifting book, filled with moments of recognition and discovery.
 

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Kidd's lovely prose, passion for the spiritual life, and early instincts for telling a compelling story should help this book attract a wide readership."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Thoughtful, moving, often luminous meditations on faith, family, death, and love; on compassion, solitude, and grace."
-Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143112327
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 283,730
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Monk Kidd

SUE MONK KIDD is the author of the novels, The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair, and the memoirs, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, When the Heart Waits, and Firstlight, a collection of early writings. The Secret Life of Bees has spent more than 125 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was adapted into an award-winning movie. The Mermaid Chair, a #1 New York Times bestseller, was adapted into a television movie. Each of her novels has been translated into more than 24 languages. The recipient of numerous literary awards, Sue lives in South Carolina with her husband.

Biography

Sue Monk Kidd first made her mark on the literary circuit with a pair of highly acclaimed, well-loved memoirs detailing her personal spiritual development. However, it was a work of fiction, The Secret Life of Bees, that truly solidified her place among contemporary writers. Although Kidd is no longer writing memoirs, her fiction is still playing an important role in her on-going journey of spiritual self-discovery.

Despite the fact that Kidd's first published books were nonfiction works, her infatuation with writing grew out of old-fashioned, Southern-yarn spinning. As a little girl in the little town of Sylvester, Georgia, Kidd thrilled to listen to her father tell stories about "mules who went through cafeteria lines and a petulant boy named Chewing Gum Bum," as she says on her web site. Inspired by her dad's tall tales, Kidd began keeping a journal that chronicled her everyday experiences.

Such self-scrutiny surely gave her the tools she needed to pen such keenly insightful memoirs as When the Hearts Waits and The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, both tracking her development as both a Christian and a woman. "I think when you have an impulse to write memoir you are having an opportunity to create meaning of your life," she told Barnes & Noble.com, "to articulate your experience; to understand it in deeper ways... and after a while, it does free you from yourself, of having to write about yourself, which it eventually did for me."

Once Kidd had worked the need to write about herself out of her system, she decided to get back to the kind of storytelling that inspired her to become a writer in the first place. Her debut novel The Secret Life of Bees showed just how powerfully the gift of storytelling charges through Kidd's veins. The novel has sold more than 4.5 million copies, been published in over twenty languages, and spent over two years on The New York Times bestseller list.

Even as Kidd has shifted her focus from autobiography to fiction, she still uses her writing as a means of self-discovery. This is especially evident in her latest novel The Mermaid Chair, which tells the story of a woman named Jessie who lives a rather ordinary life with her husband Hugh until she meets a man about to take his final vows at a Benedictine monastery. Her budding infatuation with Brother Thomas leads Jessie to take stock of her life and resolve an increasingly intense personal tug-of-war between marital fidelity and desire.

Kidd feels that through telling Jessie's story, she is also continuing her own journey of self-discovery, which she began when writing her first books. "I think there is some part of that journey towards one's self that I did experience. I told that particular story in my book The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and it is the story of a woman's very-fierce longing for herself. The character in The Mermaid Chair Jessie has this need to come home to herself in a much deeper way," Kidd said, "to define herself, and I certainly know that longing."

Good To Know

Kidd lives beside a salt marsh near Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, Sandy, a marriage and individual counselor in private practice, and a black lab named Lily.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Inspiring

    I recommend this book. It was inspirational and a very quick read. I always look forward to any book by Sue Monk Kidd.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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