Penn State

Anne Behler - Associate Librarian, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son's first Year

Author: Anne Lamott

Book Description:

I discovered Anne Lamott's works when I was about half-way through the tenure process, at the same time that I became a mother for the first time. Since then the author, who is also an academic and a mother, has become a constant voice in my life; I almost always have a Lamott title on the go. I've chosen Operating Instructions as my promotion and tenure title because it tells the story of the whole woman - mother, writer, teacher, professional, friend - as she experiences the vulnerability and wonder of bringing a life into the world. She also happens to have a manuscript deadline to adhere to as she muddles her way through diaper changes, nighttime feedings, and the timeless world of caring for an infant. During my own tenure process, I have had the privilege of bringing two lives into this world - accomplishing tenure is one piece of the puzzle of who I am as a woman. I identified so profoundly with Lamott's experiences; I still often hear her voice alongside my own. Her works have truly been a gift to me along the way.


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