Lying Awake

Front Cover
Knopf, 2000 - Fiction - 181 pages
12 Reviews
In a Carmelite monastery outside present-day Los Angeles, life goes on in a manner virtually un-changed for centuries. Sister John of the Cross has spent years there in the service of God. And there, she alone experiences visions of such dazzling power and insight that she is looked upon as a spiritual master.

But Sister John's visions are accompanied by powerful headaches, and when a doctor reveals that they may be dangerous, she faces a devastating choice. For if her spiritual gifts are symptoms of illness rather than grace, will a "cure" mean the end of her visions and a soul once again dry and searching?

This is the dilemma at the heart of Mark Salzman's spare, astonishing new novel. With extraordinary dexterity, the author of the best-selling Iron & Silk and The Soloist brings to life the mysterious world of the cloister, giving us a brilliantly realized portrait of women today drawn to the rigors of an ancient religious life, and of one woman's trial at the perilous intersection of faith and reason.

Lying Awake is a novel of remarkable empathy and imagination, and Mark Salzman's most provocative work to date.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kristelh - LibraryThing

A young woman who had an unhappy childhood, abandoned by her mother, grandfather died and teased for being fat enters a monastery. She has visions and spiritual experiences. She is writing a book of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - oldblack - LibraryThing

Meh. It's a short book with lots of small chapters so I didn't have trouble getting though it. But I was left with a bit of a "meh" feeling at the end. I'm not a Catholic but I thought maybe a ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
7
Section 3
12
Section 4
15
Section 5
19
Section 6
24
Section 7
38
Section 8
50
Section 14
111
Section 15
119
Section 16
123
Section 17
127
Section 18
132
Section 19
154
Section 20
157
Section 21
160

Section 9
56
Section 10
60
Section 11
63
Section 12
66
Section 13
73
Section 22
163
Section 23
169
Section 24
176
Section 25
182
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Mark Salzman is the author of Iron & Silk, an account of his two years in China; the novels The Laughing Sutra and The Soloist, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction; and Lost in Place, a memoir. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, filmmaker Jessica Yu.

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