Anne Lamott’s latest novel, “Imperfect Birds,” will make you relieved if you do not have a teenaged daughter or grateful if the one you have is not a profligate drug user with a string of “friends with benefits.”
“This whole thing about teen girls’ sexual proclivities makes me so sad,” Lamott told us during a phone interview this week. “I wanted to try to understand what it is instead of recoiling.”
The author of number of fiction and nonfiction books, she will be here this week to meet fans and discuss her work. The appearance, at 7 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church at 308 Clairemont Ave. in Decatur, is free and open to the public.
Organized by the Georgia Center for the Book, the event is expected to draw a capacity crowd. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Lamott researched her latest book by hanging out with teenagers in order to reflect their sensibilities in an authentic, nonjudgmental way, but also drew on her own experiences.
“I was that girl as a teenager,” she said. “I loved drugs I loved to get drunk. I was like that until I was 32. I smoked marijuana every day for 20 years. I had no boundaries with men all those years.”
Today’s teens face ever greater pressures, given stronger drugs and constant communication, she said.
“We’re losing kids,” she said. “We’re losing kids to the way stronger weed that’s available today. We are losing kids to OxyContin.”
As dire as her message sounds, her book isn’t a downer, and fans will appreciate her deft narrative.
“I don’t think I’m a natural born novelist,” she said. “I think I have a real gift for storytelling.”