The Tulip and the Pope: A Nun's Story

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
The story of novelist and poet Deborah Larsen's young womanhood, The Tulip and the Pope is both an exquisitely crafted spiritual memoir and a beautifully nuanced view of life in the convent.In midsummer of 1960, nineteen-year-old Deborah shares a cab to a convent. She and the teenage girls with her, passionate to become nuns, heedless of all they are leaving behind, smoke their last cigarettes before entering their new lives. In the same artful prose that distinguished her novel The White, Larsen's memoir lets us into the hushed life of the convent. She captures the exquisite peace she found there, as well as the extreme constriction of the rules and her gradual awareness of all that she is missing. Eventually the physical world—the lush tulip she remembers seeing as a girl, the snow she tunneled in, and even the mystery of sex—begins to seem to her an alternative theater for a deep understanding and love of God.

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User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

5428. The Tulip and the Pope, by Deborah Larsen (read 5 Dec 2016) This tells of the author, at age 19, and after attending Catholic grade and high school in St. Paul and after one year at Clarke ... Read full review

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User Review  - hotnarizona - LibraryThing

You knew she would leave, the chapters were soon telling, but what was the story inside the nunnery, and inside her head - of the young woman who became a nun - for a time. She became a writer, seems that she fulfilled her calling. Read full review


Title Page
The Sitting Pulpit
The Cape
But Why Again
The Sermon
Sneezy Dopey Sleepy
Caroling in Advent
We Become Nuns
Father Vermeuhlen
A Cup Handle
The Window
Dos Cervezas

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About the author (2007)

Deborah Larsen grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and currently lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. She teaches writing at Gettyburg College, where she holds the Merle S. Boyer Chair. She is the author of The White, a novel based on the life of Mary Jemison, and a collection of poetry, Stitching Porcelain. Her poems and short stories have appeared in The Nation, The Yale Review, and The New Yorker, among other publications.

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