Mary Morris Angels and Aliens: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780312204297

Angels and Aliens: A Memoir

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9780312204297: Angels and Aliens: A Memoir

In Angels & Aliens, Mary Morris once again sets out on the road, this time as a single parent, wandering with her baby daughter through Southern California. Posing as a believer, Morris infiltrates New Age groups, flies as an angel through the Crystal Cathedral, and becomes a member of the earth-based unit of the Ashtar command. Combining her gift as a story teller, which is apparent in her fiction, and the powerful sense of place she brings to her nonfiction, Morris gives us a traveler's tale for the millennium when there's no place to go but up.

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Review:

Following the effective formula she established in her classic memoir Nothing to Declare, Mary Morris mingles travel in an exotic landscape--well, Southern California is exotic if you're from New York City by way of suburban Chicago--with memories of a troubled past and a frank description of current personal difficulties. In Angels & Aliens, Morris moves to Orange County in 1988 with her infant daughter, Kate, whose father has remained behind on the East Coast, unwilling either to marry Morris or let her go. As is often the case with one-sided accounts of relationships on the rocks, it's hard to imagine what the author sees in her selfish, controlling lover; most readers will cheer when she finally forces him to lay his emotional and financial cards on the table. Her account of life in La-La Land has predictable moments (freeway driving as existential statement, crystal-wielding massage therapists), but Morris is surprisingly nonjudgmental about oddball cults like the Crystal Cathedral, which flies six parishioners/angels overhead in its annual Christmas pageant, and Uforum, which runs a support group for people convinced they have been abducted by aliens. No matter how strange the behavior, Morris's sharp, stripped-down language makes it recognizably human. --Wendy Smith

From the Publisher:

"Mary Morris combines a hunger for transcendence with wry self-mockery. Her subtle, unobtrusive craft beautifully stitches together past and present, hope and disenchantment, insight and narrative." --Phillip Lopate

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