by Karen Armstrong - £9.99 Harper Perennial (2005)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780007122295 | ISBN 10: 0007122292
After seven years of hoping but ultimately failing to find enlightenment, Karen Armstrong left her early life as a nun. She knew almost nothing of the changed world she was entering, and was tormented by panic attacks and inexplicable seizures, existing somewhere between the mildly eccentric and the tragically certifiable. Her attempts to reach happiness seemed doomed to fail repeatedly. Temporary respite of a sort was discovered in encounters with some remarkable friends and colleagues and with the extraordinary few who, like herself, seemed somehow separated from the world. Finally diagnosed with epilepsy and given proper treatment, she began the writing career that would become her true calling. Written with startling perception and astonishing sensitivity, 'The Spiral Staircase' is an exploration of one woman's painful journey to find herself and claim her place in the world.
(Price & availability last checked: March 2018)