Lying Awake. Mark Salzman, Author, Stephanie Shieldhouse, Illustrator Alfred A. Knopf $22 (p) ISBN Lying Awake study guide contains a biography of Mark Salzman, literature essays Set in Los Angeles, Lying Awake tells the story of Carmelite nun Sister. Mark Salzman’s novel, Lying Awake, invites us to reflect on social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of neurological illness in particular and of the.

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Sep 24, Sherry sethurner rated it really liked it Shelves: Literary Fiction Spiritual Fiction print. But Sister John’s is also plagued by powerful headaches and when a doctor reveals that they may be dangerous, she faces a devastating choice.

Some people have made a connection between brain tumors and visions—people in hospitals affected with brain problems salzmwn reported visions. Dec 16, Pages. As a boy, all Salzman ever wanted was to be a Kung Fu master, but it was his proficiency on the cello that facilitated his acceptance to Yale at the age of Anyone who likes contemporary fiction.

She has now begun having severe headaches, which she almost welcomes as a small portion of the cross she seeks to bear. I mean really know Him, feel close to Him, sense His presence within or magk you?

Why did you choose to write about a nun, rather than a monk or priest?

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman

In what way are the circumstances particularly relevant to the teachings of St. Mwrk is unashamedly filled with religious language, rendered faithfully and sympathetically.

Are their spirits crushed, or do they oying in response to the challenge? She has used her God-given talents to bring recognition to her sisters and to her convent by writing inspirational and religious poetry. They often feel that the only way they can be heard or noticed at all is through negative, destructive behavior. Quotes from Lying Awake. In fact, when I wasn’t reading it, I would think about something in it that seemed to resonate with me. It was only going through her illness of epilepsy she realized all God requires of us is our obedience and for us to continue to do his will.


She has now begun having severe headaches, which she almost welcomes as a small por This was a good one to read on the heels of The Power and The Glorywhich I finished a couple weeks ago. With an operation, she can be healed, but she may also lose what is most meaningful to her.

Lying Awake

Salzman’s writing is quiet and precise, as unobtrusive as a nun’s rustling skirts. It can’t be right for her to allow other nuns to become jealous of her gift, or to disrupt the ordered flow of activities in the convent when the condition mxrk her. She is the only nun who experiences visions and is regarded by the others awqke a spiritual master. Mark Salzman is one of the two living authors I would most like to know in person the other being Amy Tan.

What incidents in the book support this statement? And isn’t that the point to what any of us who believes in God do?

While the pace of life within the walls of this holy place has remained unchanged for centuries, Sister John has dedicated her life to the service of others. In a Carmelite monastery on the outskirts of Los Angeles, life has continued virtually unchanged for centuries.

Read it Forward Read it first. Jun 10, Rachel Wagner rated it it was amazing. In contrast to the chatter of teen felons in True Notebooks, this novel walks softly through the austere settings and stark schedules of the nuns; you can hear a pin drop or the emotional dynamics in a room change. Also in Vintage Contemporaries. How are these experiences affecting the person having them, and how she relates to others?

Dec 10, Alicia rated it it was amazing Shelves: She begins to have intense spiritual visions and experiences which she believes is the connection to God she has been working towards her whole life. I particularly loved the ending. When a neurological explanation for her newfound spirituality comes to light, everything is suddenly cast into doubt and she struggles with the dilemma of whether to relinquish her gift and have the brain surgery her madk deems necessary.

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman | : Books

I went there intending to lick my wounds and start thinking about a new book, but instead, after a few days of deep silence, I saw what the problem with Lying Awake had been all along, and started all over again from page one, this time with a big smile on my face.


She also learns that the impact of her life goes far beyond her writings but that her character has made the world a better place. After those 48 hours of misery, I was so delirious that the concert was a breeze Q: Their loneliness and confusion stays bottled up until it becomes unbearable, and then it gets expressed in ways that only make everything worse.

How appropriate is the choice of locale of the monastery of Sisters of the Carmel of Saint Joseph in the very heart of Los Angeles rather than in a more pastoral setting? It made me feel that there is very little distance—if any—between those who believe in God and those who believe in the value of human love, mercy, and dignity.

Because all the nuns admitted to doubting their decisions to devote their lives to God. That’s the kind of understanding I meant. If it is just the illness speaking through Sister John why is it not just gobbledygook? It’s written in a touching, economical style that seems to reflect the stark simplicity of the life of the sisters.

These young people are starved for adult reassurance and guidance, they are hungry for encouragement, and they long for a means of expressing themselves. I did take off a star because I felt somehow distanced from the narrative and the characters where I would have preferred to feel more fully involved. And, yes, her self. My God, I feel as if I am being torn apart. He doesn’t need to describe the poetry that comes, unbidden, to the protagonist because you experience it at the same time that she does.

Only I, and I alone really know the truth. To what extent do our behavior and the decisions we make entail making “presumptions” about ourselves and our place in the world?