An Unquenchable Thirst

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  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
  • Format: Paperback | 542 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 202mm x 36mm | 400g
  • Publication date: 26 February 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385527489
  • ISBN 13: 9780385527484
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 345,084

Product description

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY "KIRKUS REVIEWS" "A candid, generous, and profound spiritual memoir that deserves a great deal of thoughtful discussion."--Anne Rice At seventeen, Mary Johnson experienced her calling when she saw a photo of Mother Teresa on the cover of "Time" magazine; eighteen months later she began her training as a Missionary of Charity, a nun in Mother Teresa's order. Not without difficulty, this boisterous, independent-minded teenager eventually adapted to the sisters' austere life of poverty and devotion, but beneath the white-and-blue sari beat the heart of an ordinary young woman who faced daily the simple and profound struggles we all share, the same desires for love and connection. Eventually, after twenty years of service, Johnson left the church to find her own path, but her magnificently told story holds universal truths about the mysteries of faith and how a woman discovers herself. Includes new material: Two reading group guides--for groups that wish to take different approaches to the book; a conversation between Mary Johnson and Mira Bartok, author of "The Memory Palace;" and Mary Johnson's recommended reading list "A wonderful achievement . . . Johnson opens the window on a horizon of spiritual questions [and] takes an unflinching look inside her own heart."--"The Christian Science Monitor" "An incredible coming-of-age story . . . [It] has everything a memoir needs: an inside look at a way of life that most of us will never see, a physical and emotional journey, and suspense."--Slate "Reads like a novel . . . an exacting account of a woman growing into her own soul."--"More" magazine "Engaging, heartfelt and entertaining . . . [Johnson] articulates her struggles with her God in words that will hit home."--"Los Angeles Times" "An inspiration that transcends any particular religious belief . . . "An Unquenchable Thirst" is a journey that captivates, but its resonance lies in the life examined."--"The Denver Post"

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Author information

For twenty years, as Sister Donata, Mary Johnson was a Missionary of Charity, a nun in Mother Teresa's order, until she left in 1997. A respected teacher and public speaker, she has been named a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony and is on the board of A Room of Her Own Foundation. She lives in New Hampshire.

Review quote

Advance praise for "An Unquenchable Thirst" "Readers . . . will find themselves transported into another world by this powerful, revealing memoir. An aspirant to the Missionaries of Charity at age nineteen, the author spent twenty years living a life both extraordinarily simple and heart-wrenchingly complex. Johnson skillfully demonstrates this juxtaposition through her writing--mundane events, such as gathering eggs or learning to play the piano, often have tragic or miraculous implications. . . . [Johnson's] memoir is exceptional."--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) "Johnson brings readers close to her story, showing her triumphs and temptations, limning characters as compelling as those in any novel. . . . Her mesmerizing account of trying to orbit the sun that was Mother Teresa vividly captures a life in turmoil.""--Booklist "(starred review) "Eloquent and moving . . . an extraordinary testament to the enduring power of love--beyond faith and dogma. It reminds us of why we are here: to love and live fully, to be curious about all things, and to live a compassionate--and passionate--authentic life."--Mira Bartok, author of "The Memory Palace" " " "A heartfelt, personal story of the gradual awakening of a person who comes to see that preferring the human to the perfect does not alienate her from authentic spirituality but allows her to live more fully."--Kathleen Norris, author of "The Cloister Walk" " " "Opening up the soul's deep core on the page is always an act of bravery. Mary Johnson is bravery writ large. She writes expertly about the myths and misperceptions of women's religious vocations and the sacred validity of human intimacy."--Breena Clarke, author of "Stand the Storm" "From the Hardcover edition."