Living with a Wild God: a non-believer’s search for the truth about everything

29 May 2014 | by Barbara Ehrenreich

BBC Radio 4’s series My Teenage Diary is aired during the half-hour evening slot designated for comedy for a reason. Without the comedic frame, teenage diarists’ accounts of parental sleights, first loves, bodily sproutings and existential awakenings are cringe-inducing, if not excruciating. Barbara Ehrenreich, for all her fabulous turns of phrase, could do with a little Radio 4 programming. The hook of Living with a Wild God is a teenage “mystical experience” in the Californian desert that for many years she had intellectualised away as a breakdown or some variety of mental illness, like the good scientific rationalist she protests too much that she was. Now, relatively late in life, and after a dose of cancer, she has ­excavated her diaries from the years in

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