My Mother's Bible: A Son Discovers Clues to God [NOOK Book]

Overview

"It's commonly said that if people understood the difficulties and heartbreaks of having children, they might not do it," writes Walter Kirn. "This seems to be true of God as well. Parenthood was not what he expected."


This droll assessment is the type of unorthodox commentary that has made Kirn one of America's best-loved novelists (“Up in the Air,” “Thumbsucker”) and critics. And behind this particular great writer is an equally indomitable mother. Millie Kirn's spunk and love of literature helped shape her ...

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My Mother's Bible: A Son Discovers Clues to God

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Overview

"It's commonly said that if people understood the difficulties and heartbreaks of having children, they might not do it," writes Walter Kirn. "This seems to be true of God as well. Parenthood was not what he expected."


This droll assessment is the type of unorthodox commentary that has made Kirn one of America's best-loved novelists (“Up in the Air,” “Thumbsucker”) and critics. And behind this particular great writer is an equally indomitable mother. Millie Kirn's spunk and love of literature helped shape her son. She was a voracious reader who “held conventional wisdom in disdain, delighted in seeing hypocrisy exposed, arrogance leveled, and complacency shaken.” After she died unexpectedly of a rare infection in her brain, Kirn was sorting through her effects when he came across a King James Study Bible. In his grief, hoping to commune with his mother's spirit, he opened the volume and discovered a glorious profusion of notes in his mother's familiar handwriting. “Much ado about curtains,” she wrote in a typically tart assessment of a passage from Exodus laying out the rules for priestly dress and temple adornment.


Inspired by his mother's brash, iconoclastic annotations and following them across the biblical landscape like crumbs, Walter Kirn set about rereading the Old Testament for the first time since he was a child. He sees its familiar heroes—Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Joseph—in a fresh, often comic light. “The Bible is a drama concerned with drama itself, its origins, its nature, and its ends,” he writes. “Maybe Creation's purpose is just that: to stir up a fuss and banish God's perfect boredom. My mother once told me that her life was flat before I came along—not bad, just flat. And how was it afterwards? 'Very busy,' she said.”


“My Mother's Bible” is a profound reevaluation of God's nature as embodied in the Old Testament, shaped by a son's and mother's enduring love for reading and for each other.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Walter Kirn is a novelist, essayist, and critic living in Livingston, Montana. He is the author of “Up in the Air,” “Thumbsucker,” and “Lost in the Meritocracy,” among other books, and currently works as the national correspondent for “The New Republic.” He is currently at work on “Blood Will Out,” a memoir of his ten-year friendship with the impostor and accused murderer who went by the name Clark Rockefeller.


PRAISE FOR WALTER KIRN


“Kirn … can get you into a Moment faster than a Zen master.” —The New York Times


“Funny, scary, sharp, smooth, and (in a provocative sense) clean.” —Roy Blount Jr.


“A smart, ambitious writer. … Kirn’s sentences would be a delight even if they were empty.” —Bloomberg News

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In what reads like a Bible blog--a literary, layman's interpretation--the author comes to terms with the death of his mother and a whole lot more after discovering her biblical notes and annotations. As a highly respected literary critic, essayist and novelist, Kirn (Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever, 2009, etc.) inherited more skepticism than faith from his mother. He had not read the Bible until he discovered, after his mother's death, that she had not only read it, likely more than once, but had taken copious notes. In those notes and the Scripture that inspired them, he discovered "my mother's ghost. It swirled up out of the margins of her Bible and granted my wish to hear her voice again." Thus motivated, Kirn began to read the Bible through the eyes of his "freethinker" mother and to confront the God who imbued mankind with sin and mortality--the God who let his mother suffer in her final stages. "Maybe because my first motive was love, I'm afraid there's a lot of anger in what I've written," he admits. "How could there not be? The half-shaved head. The morphine. The Bible stories themselves, so harsh and violent. Most of the anger is mine. Some is my mother's. But all of it belongs to God in some way. It came from him; why not return it?" The entries are as short as they are provocative, frequently assuming an accusatory familiarity that fundamentalists might well find blasphemous. If Kirn has continued reading the Bible, he should continue writing about it, for his responses to Job and the New Testament (as well as his mother's) might well be even pricklier than what he offers here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781614520597
  • Publisher: Byliner Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Walter Kirn
Walter Kirn is a novelist, essayist, and critic living in Livingston, Montana. He is the author of "Up in the Air," "Thumbsucker," and "Lost in the Meritocracy," among other books, and currently works as the national correspondent for "The New Republic." He is currently at work on "Blood Will Out," a memoir of his ten-year friendship with the impostor and accused murderer who went by the name Clark Rockefeller.

PRAISE FOR WALTER KIRN

"Kirn … can get you into a Moment faster than a Zen master." —The New York Times

"Funny, scary, sharp, smooth, and (in a provocative sense) clean." —Roy Blount Jr.

"A smart, ambitious writer. … Kirn's sentences would be a delight even if they were empty." —Bloomberg News
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    The above review made me immediately buy the book.

    And I can't wait to read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Bible or Not

    MR. K really has no idea what the Bible is all about! Such a shame! Hope when he stands before the God he likes to ridicule, he has the courage to apologaze for his ignorance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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