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Mary Johnson, author of An Unquenchable Thirst, Launches Nation-Wide Book Tour

Mary Johnson, featured in “Poets & Writers” and “O Magazine”, to give readings at bookstores across the United States and discuss her 20 year experience as a nun and her work with Mother Teresa.

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PRLog (Press Release) - Oct. 25, 2011 - Mary Johnson, featured in “Poets & Writers” and “O Magazine”, to give readings at bookstores across the United States and discuss her 20 year experience as a nun and her work with Mother Teresa.

Newly-published author Mary Johnson, whose non-fiction book An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life has been published by Random House, is launching her nation-wide book tour.

Johnson will be visiting cities throughout the country this fall and winter.

An Unquenchable Thirst is a powerful personal memoir about Johnson’s call to join the Convent at age 19 and her experiences during the next 20 years of her life as she worked, sacrificed, and rose to a position of great responsibility, working closely with Mother Teresa.

It is through deep reflection and astute insight that Johnson reveals her simple and austere life in the order and her love for its purpose, against her professional and personal struggles that lead her to find the courage to break her vows in 1997.

“I loved the Sisters and I loved Mother (Mother Teresa). I did not want to disappoint her,” Johnson said. “But I knew I couldn’t be a nun any longer.”  

The book is a revealing account of the private life of one nun, told in an honest voice that, while daring and sometimes shockingly truthful, remains gracious and moving.

Johnson, whose book tour is partially sponsored by A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO) credits her ability to write the book to Darlene Chandler Bassett, the founder of AROHO, an organization that works to support women writers in finding the space and time they need to write.  

“Mary was actually the catalyst for the formation of the foundation in 2000,” said Bassett. “It was her desire to become a writer that gave AROHO its focus.”

Through AROHO, Johnson was supported in obtaining her MFA from Goddard College.

“Writing is often a solitary and lonesome experience,” said Johnson. “It wasn’t that way for me. I had support from AROHO, Darlene, and the writers I’ve met through AROHO.”

To learn more about Mary Johnson and her memoire, visit http://www.maryjohnson.co/an-unquenchable-thirst/.  

From the Inside Cover
At seventeen, Mary Johnson saw Mother Teresa’s face on the cover of Time and experienced her calling. Eighteen months later, she entered a convent in the South Bronx to begin her religious training. Not without difficulty, this bright, independent-minded Texas teenager eventually adapted to the sisters’ austere life of poverty and devotion, and in time became close to Mother Teresa herself.

Still, beneath the white and blue sari beat the heart of an ordinary young woman facing the struggles we all share – the desire for love and connection, meaning and identity. During her twenty years with the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Donata, as she [Mary Johnson] was known, grappled with her faith, her sexuality, the politics of the order, and her complicated relationship with Mother Teresa. Eventually, she left the church to find her own path – one that led to love and herself.

Provocative, profound and emotionally charged, An Unquenchable Thirst presents a rare, privileged view of Mother Teresa. At the same time, it is a unique and magnificent memoir of self-discovery.

Advance Praise Mary Johnson’s for An Unquenchable Thirst

“Readers...will find themselves transported into another world by this powerful, revealing memoir.  An aspirant to the Missionaries of Charity at age nineteen, the author spent twenty years living a life both extraordinarily simple and heart-wrenchingly complex.  Johnson skillfully demonstrates this juxtaposition through her writing—mundane events, such as gathering eggs or learning to play the piano, often have tragic or miraculous implications…
[Johnson’s] memoir is exceptional.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About AROHO
AROHO, founded in 2000 by Darlene Chandler Bassett, is a transformational collective that changes the lives of creative women by honoring artistic excellence and moving artists out of isolation to a whole community. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization provides a unique arts program to impact cultural development. It works to help women writers and artists go the full journey from inspiration, through creative production, and on to the marketplace.

Through $50,000 biennial Gift of Freedom awards, unique Writers' Retreat experiences, Orlando and To the Lighthouse Prizes, and the AROHO Book Club, A Room of Her Own Foundation empowers women and educates the community about the important work of female artists and writers. Learn more at http://www.aroomofherownfoundation.org/.

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