|About the Book|
We sat in a little circle, Mom on the brown leather chair, Dad on the matching ottoman- I was on the carpet. So, I said. What are we?Both of my parents had looks of utter confusion on their faces. I had really stumped them. After a pause, my dadMoreWe sat in a little circle, Mom on the brown leather chair, Dad on the matching ottoman- I was on the carpet. So, I said. What are we?Both of my parents had looks of utter confusion on their faces. I had really stumped them. After a pause, my dad asked for clarification . . . . . . . its like this-all my friends are something. Vanessa is a Unitarian, Michelle is Catholic, Lucy is Presbyterian . . . so I just want to know-what am I?I smiled at them to make them feel better. But I was getting pretty nervous, too.Were nothing. My father was looking right at me- he had a pleasant, friendly kind of an expression. Nothing, he said again.Thats right, said my mother. She seemed relieved that Dad had just said it. Nothing at all. . . . We like being nothing.What is it like to grow up in a house with no religion? What kind of experiences does someone have when one is not a believer and yet comes into constant contact with religion? How can a person find out what they are when they focus primarily on what they are not?These are the questions raised in the memoir Nothing. With humor, wit, and poignant insight, Nica Lalli recounts her mishaps and misadventures with religion from early childhood into her adult years. As a questioning child, unsure of her idea of God, then a teenager feeling like an outsider, and finally an adult mother confronted by her husbands born-again Christian family and questions from her own children, Nica vividly describes her struggle to find out what kind of something she really is. In the end, the author finds that nothing is a philosophy to be embraced rather than feared.Nothing is an appealing, sensitively written story that offers hope, humor, and reason to millions of similar Americans who feel alienated in an ever more religiously polarized nation.Nica Lalli (Brooklyn, NY) is a freelance art educator working with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Student and Family offsite and outreach programs and with Access Coordination providing services for visitors with disabilities.