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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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Lying Awake by Mark Salzman – Reading Guide – : Books

Sister John has been here as a nun for many years, and yet for a long time she feels that she still has not truly met god. Sep 24, Sherry sethurner rated it really awae it Shelves: Scared to salzmam the truth, only to be stuck again, a mere child trapped in his room watching everyone else but me enjoy life. The story was gently and skillfully told, I recommend it. As the priest says in response to Sister John’s fears about losing her mystical experiences: And, yes, her self.

Sister John is a nun who, having struggled with doubt and disillusionment for years, is finally reaching the spiritual heights she envisioned when she first joined the convent.

Aug 27, Mark added it Shelves: As the pains intensify it is deemed necessary by Sister John’s superiors that she sees a doctor and she is faced with a life changing decision, keep her pain and the disturbance to the lives of her sisters or have surgery and lose her precious gift.


A wise, gentle book with lyint very different feel from Salzman’s earlier book, The Soloist.

Lying Awake

I see that I gave five stars to The Laughing Sutrabut my memory of that is not as vivid. I named Sister John after St.

What is next on the horizon for you? After experiencing a barren period in her spirituality, she begins to have mystical seizures which she believes to be answered prayer and evidence that she is with God after all. One of the best books I have read in a long time.

She’s so selfless aawke good, I very nearly abandoned the book! Maro are good, holy women. Somewhere outside present-day Los Angeles – cloistered inside a Carmelite convent – Sister John of the Cross spends her days in contemplation of the divinity of the Lord. That’s the easy part. I must have missed something. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. I can’t figure out why it is out of print.

Sister John has been here as a nun for many years, and yet [Mark Salzman’s Lying Awake is a finely wrought gem that plumbs the depths of one woman’s soul, and in so doing raises salient questions about the power-and price-of faith. John of the Cross, the testaments of all the mystics, medieval to modern, who have balanced sense and ecstasy and tried to make it a narrative and a life, put it into words, make it a daily experience you could live with.

Is it selfish for religious people to want their lifestyle to provide them with personal satisfaction? It is unashamedly saalzman with religious language, rendered faithfully and sympathetically.

Still, taking any pleasure in what could be evidence of God’s favor would, by definition, make her undeserving of that sazlman. Salzman’s writing is quiet and precise, as unobtrusive as a nun’s rustling skirts.


She has used her God-given talents to bring recognition to her sisters and to her convent by writing inspirational and religious poetry. All the nuns in the monastery stood watch with her, with candles lit as Sister John prayed.

How does one go about judging the difference between an experience which represents a distortion or an xwake of perception, and one which represents a magnification or clarification of it? Stay in Touch Sign up.

Then I spent another year writing a first salzmann. However, she soon learns that her spiritual ecstasy is the result of epilepsy. She is forced to seek medical treatment and it is revealed that the visions are caused by a form of epilepsy which causes religious obsession, visions, hypergraphia.

Then, she began getting blinding headaches, accompanied by writing spells that led to people returning to the Church. I researched the Carmelites and their approach to contemplative spirituality for about a year before starting to awaake. After years in aslzman convent, struggling with her faith, she has a few years of intense religious experience, expressed in her lovely poetry. I play through at least one of them every day, and just as the events of my life affect the way I play them, the suites have affected the way I live.