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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Graceful, lucid and enjoyable. I never talk about my failures while salzan are occurring; only afterwards. Mar 26, booklady rated it it was amazing Recommended to booklady by: It is subtle and mostly contained in the mind of the lead character.

Lying Awake

In making her decision awakw surgery, does she rely entirely on faith, or does reason play a salznan as well? Sister John’s decision is not overly-dramatized, nor are her rapturous fits described with obvious overtones of “specialness. And there, she alone experiences visions of such dazzling power and insight that she is looked upon as a spiritual master. Salzman’s writing is quiet and precise, as unobtrusive as a nun’s rustling skirts.

Teresa of Avila was their founder, along with St. I see them come and go freely, I watch them grow. Are positive religous states beneficial or addictive? 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.

What happens beyond this point is interesting and seems akin to some of the more mundane decisions and turning points we all come to in awakke lives at some point.

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman

He just wrote a beautiful, poignantly human narrative. Inspired by Your Browsing History.

LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. In this cleanly written novel, Mark Salzman writes about faith in a way that is reverential without being overly pious. Sister John of the Cross, a cloistered Carmelite of middle age, waited for many dry years to know her Bridegroom.


Jun 10, Rachel Wagner rated it it was amazing. Should she have surgery to cure the illness, and risk losing that experience? Basically, it is about a Carmelite Sister who learns that her religious visions and migraines might come from a small benign braintumor, and will she take it out, and risk loosing these visions?

Teresa and other Christian mystics of the past? My God, I feel as if I am being torn apart. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. His mind and heart were flooded with extraordinary light The story hinges around her struggle to reconcile the fact that her euphoric connection to God and faith may simply be an abnormality in her brain.

I may want to revisit Mariette in Ecstasy, by Ron Hanson. To help others she publishes her writings, and they become popular. He acknowledges the trials of cloistered life while allowing that there is dignity, honor and decency in it.

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. Jun 28, Judy rated it really liked it Shelves: Was it difficult for you to adopt this point of view?

On the other hand, she dreads giving them up and resuming her former unanswered quest. 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.

A life of poverty and simplicity is God’s way to the Carmelities. The doing kind, not the knowing kind. It’s written in a touching, economical style that seems to reflect the stark simplicity of the life of the sisters.

I found Sister John believable, human, and hard to pinpoint – traumatized girl, fat girl, mystic, middle aged woman, epilepsy victim, aging nun.

My students are between the ages of 15—18, and are all being tried as adults. They often feel that the only way they can be heard or noticed at all is through negative, destructive behavior.


I feel like a child trapped in a room. Then I started writing drafts that showed some promise.

Lying Awake is a Carmelite Nun’s journey through ecstatic conversation with God and a decision about her health that is likely to remove that closeness from her life.

I must have missed something. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. While she has spent her many years Somewhere outside present-day Los Angeles – cloistered inside a Carmelite convent – Sister John of the Awakd spends her days in contemplation of the divinity of the Lord.

Virtually all of my students come from homes where they received inadequate, inappropriate, or ineffectual attention from adults. The writing itself is sparse and internal, very much like the inner life I imagine a nun to have.

Lying Awake Reader’s Guide

May 08, Jeana rated it really liked it Shelves: When told by a neurologist that her experiences are likely the result of curable epileptic seizures, Sister John is forced to rethink everything she knows about spiritual life. View all 6 comments. To view it, click here.

How does Salzman “humanize” Sister John and the other nuns—for instance, Sister Bernadette, Sister Anne, and Mother Emmanuel—without undermining his portrait of lives dedicated to serving God? However, she soon learns lyinh her spiritu “Didn’t [St. Along with the main plot, Lying Awake also provides an intimate look at what life as a Carmelite Nun is like which was interesting to read about in a way. Also by Mark Salzman.

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?