“Devotion’s biggest triumph is its voice: funny and unpretentious, concrete and earthy—appealing to skeptics and believers alike. This is a gripping, beautiful story.” — Jennifer Egan, author of The Keep
“I was immensely moved by this elegant book.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
Dani Shapiro, the acclaimed…
Why read it?
2 authors picked Devotion as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
In 102 brief numbered chapters, Dani Shapiro goes on a journey to examine her belief system.
Raised as an only child in a religious Jewish house, she fled to find herself. Decades later—after losing her father, being left alone to deal with her mother, and facing her infant son’s life-threatening illness—she wrestled with existential questions.
Like a spiritual investigator, she searched for answers, jumping from one house of faith and experience to another, from her childhood synagogue to her meditation teacher. In my early 50s, I, too, woke up and wondered if my inherited religion served me.
For my half-century…
When I teach creative nonfiction writing, I tell my students that the more personal you can make your story, the more deeply readers will connect with it. Broad generalizations just won’t do. Devotion by Dani Shapiro is one of those intimate, inward-looking memoirs that opens the reader to her own journey, even if that journey is completely unlike Shapiro’s own quest. In Devotion, Shapiro is struggling to help her infant son who has a life-threatening illness, while simultaneously undertaking a search for what she believes, for her faith. Her prose is lyrical. Her insights wash over you like ancient…
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