Archives For Autobiography

 

St. Teresa of Avila - AutobiographySt. Teresa of Avila is one of the most significant women in the history of the Church.

Teresa (March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582) was “a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV, and in 1970 named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Her books, which include her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus, and her seminal work, El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), are an integral part of the Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices as she entails in her other important work Camino de Perfección (The Way of Perfection).” (via Wikipedia)

On the Feast of St. Teresa today, we are pleased to offer her autobiography as our Freebie of the week…

Download a FREE ebook of

St. Teresa of Avila’s
The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

[available in a variety of ebook formats –Kindle, epub for Nook, etc. — from Project Gutenberg ]

Also:

We intend to make the “Freebie of the Week” a regular column… So stay tuned in coming weeks for other free ebooks, downloads, etc.!

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“Forming, and Being Formed By, Culture

A Review of

Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself:
A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace
.

By David Lipsky
and
The Broom of the System: A Novel by Dav id Foster Wallace.
CD Audiobook Read by Robert Petkoff.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself:
A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace
.

David Lipsky

Paperback: Broadway Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

The Broom of the System: A Novel
Dav id Foster Wallace.
CD Audiobook Read by Robert Petkoff.
Hachette Audio, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

[ Read an excerpt from ALTHOUGH OF COURSE…  ]

Although Of Course You End Up...I have been familiar with the name of the late American writer David Foster Wallace for several years now and have read several shorter pieces by or about him, but had never tackled any of his books.  Thus, when I saw earlier this year that two books with his name on them were being released – one a biography of sorts and the other an audiobook of his first novel The Broom of the System – I figured that they would provide me with a great opportunity to immerse myself in his work.  Having found myself intrigued by The New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani eulogistic description of Wallace as one who “used his prodigious gifts as a writer — his manic, exuberant prose, his ferocious powers of observation, his ability to fuse avant-garde techniques with old-fashioned moral seriousness — to create a series of strobe-lit portraits of a millennial America overdosing on the drugs of entertainment and self-gratification” (14 Sept. 2008), I was eager to learn more about Wallace and to engage his work.

BROOM OF THE SYSTEMIn March 1996, Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky joined Wallace for the final leg of his Infinite Jest book tour, and recorded much of their conversation over a five day period.  That conversation has now been published as Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, and is the closest thing we presently have to a biography (or autobiography) of Wallace.  Not surprisingly the book reads like an extended Rolling Stone interview, and given the context of the conversation – unfolding over several days and interrupted by various events related to the book tour – the book tends to wander from one topic to the next, often circling back to topics discussed earlier in the conversation.  Along the way, we get a good chunk of Wallace’s life story, growing up with parents who were academics, and learning to love reading but at the same time very much loving television and popular culture.

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“A Life Lived In the Light of the Gospel

A Review of
Hannah’s Child:
A Theologian’s Memoir
.

by Stanley Hauerwas.

Reviewed by Margaret Smith Roark.


Hannah’s Child:
A Theologian’s Memoir
.

by Stanley Hauerwas.
Hardback: Eerdmans, 2010.
Buy Now: [ ChristianBook.com ]


Hannah's Child - Stanley HauerwasStanley Hauerwas believes his life was shaped by a story his mother told him. Like Hannah in the Bible, she prayed for a child and promised to dedicate him to the Lord. (He was only named Stanley instead of Samuel because his parents saw the film “Stanley and Livingstone” just before he was born.) As a child, Hauerwas heard this story many times, and he believes that it set him on the path of faith. He first began studying theology because he wanted to talk about what matters. But over the years, this disinterested point-of-view became something far more powerful: a Christianity of devotion and conviction, a transforming lens through which to see the world.

Be warned. A theologian’s memoir, at least this one, entails lots of lists: lists of other theologians—their books, their arguments, their influence, occasionally and tiresomely, their college appointments.  Foremost a love song to friendship and the life of the mind., the book charts Hauerwas’s trajectory through different academic venues, primarily, Yale Divinity School where he began to explore and define the Christian virtues; Notre Dame where, through challenging and devout colleagues, he grew to love (and almost converted to) Roman Catholicism; and Duke Divinity School where he now teaches and challenges those who would divorce ethics from theology.

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A Brief Review of

700031: Patched Together: A Story of My Story Patched Together:
A Story of My Story

By Brennan Manning
Hardback: David C. Cook, 2010.

Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Reviewed by Michelle Van Loon.

I am loved.

When was the last time you finished a book and said those words?

Brennan Manning, a former Catholic priest, recovering alcoholic and author of touchstone Christian titles including The Ragamuffin Gospel and Ruthless Trust, has devoted his life to mapping the intersection of human brokenness and God’s grace. His body of work shows that he is not threatened by the messy parts and gray areas found there, or is he afraid of inviting his readers to surrender to God’s transforming forgiveness.

Patched Together captures the essence of Manning’s life message. The gift-sized book contains the parable of Willie Juan from childhood through the end of his days. Those familiar with Manning’s work will recognize two of the three Willie Juan stories in the book, as the first one was previously published in The Boy Who Cried Abba, and the first two can be found in The Journey Of The Prodigal. They’ve been reframed in Patched Together along with a new final chapter about Willie Juan’s life.

Manning explains the three-act format in his introduction to the book. “The book is divided into three sections: Morning, Noon, and Night. I’ve written this book in the Night of my life. Morning and Noon have passed; I’ve grown old and feeble and almost blind. For some years now I’ve written about how much Abba loves ragamuffins. Sometimes, these days, I wrestle to believe what I wrote. Knowing that you’re reading and wrestling along with me means more than you know.”

Patched Together is simply the spiritual biography/parable of ragamuffin Willie Juan. We meet him as an abandoned, disabled, multi-racial boy in the first movement of the book, and limp with him through his hardscrabble life to his first encounter with the Man of Sorrows. The second chapter of the book, Noon, lets us tag along with the now-healed, successful adult Willie Juan as he conquers the world and nearly loses his restored soul. The new chapter in Willie Juan’s life, Night, carries his story to its shimmering conclusion. There is a gentle, pastoral afterward meant to nurture connection with the Abba that Manning knows so intimately.

Manning also knows Willie Juan intimately. He is Manning. He is you and I as well. Willie Juan’s story is the best kind of tale because it is saturated with the truth of our human condition as well as a “through the mirror darkly” glimpse into the stunning, complete nature of God’s redemption.

Is this a perfect book? No. The final chapter has a different, stuttering rhythm to it, perhaps because its story is still being written in the author’s own life. However, Manning understands the clumsy beauty of soul-in-process better than almost anyone else writing today. Patched Together would make a wonderful gift for anyone who needs to feel God’s love for him or her.

And that’s all of us.