A Review of
Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair
Reviewed by Jasmine Smart
In an article in GQ magazine, Andrew Corsello wrote on comedian Louis C.K., identifying C.K.’s genius as being the ability to say the things his audience isn’t even aware they’re thinking until Louis says them for us. This same sentiment, it seems to me, applies to Anne Lamott. Her writings speak to universal concerns, and yet she writes in such a way that whatever sorrow I am bringing with me seems to be directly addressed. She recently celebrated her sixtieth birthday, and she seems to be approaching this new decade in her life with the same artful connection to the world around her that she has exhibited time and time again in her writing. In her most recently published book, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair, she approaches the question of how to make sense out of a world of chaos: “One rarely knows where to begin the search for meaning, though by necessity, we can only start where we are. That would be fine, when where we find ourselves turns out to be bearable. What about when it isn’t—after 9/11, for instance, or a suicide in the family? I really don’t have a clue” (2).