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Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography [Paperback]

By Kathryn Spink (Author)
Our Price $ 13.59  
Retail Value $ 15.99  
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Item Number 161218  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.06" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 25, 1998
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  0062515535  
EAN  9780062515537  
UPC  099455015004  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Traces the life of the Catholic nun who devoted her life to the poor, sick, and social outcasts of Calcutta.

Publishers Description
During her lifetime, Mother Teresa resisted having her full biography written. Then, in 1991, realizing that accounts of her life and work could inspire others, she gave Kathryn Spink, who had long been intimately involved with the work of Mother Teresa and her order and co-workers around the world, permission to proceed with a complete biography on the understanding that it would not be finished until after her death.

Here, now, is the complete story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a woman regarded by millions as a contemporary saint for her dedication to serving the poorest of the poor. From her childhood in Balkans as a member of a remarkably openhearted and religious family to her work in India, from attending the victims of war-torn Beirut to pleading with George Bush and Saddam Hussein to choose peace over war. Mother Teresa was driven by an absolute faith. She consistently claimed that she was simply responding to Christ's boundless love for her and for all of humanity. When People magazine interviewed Kathryn Spink for their cover story on Mother Teresa 's death, Spink told them: "What one has to understand about Mother Teresa is that she sees Christ in every person she encounters." Clad in her white peasant sari with blue edging, Mother Teresa brought to the world a great and living lesson in joyful and selfless love.

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More About Kathryn Spink

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kathryn Spink is the author of several bestselling biographies, including "Black Sash: The Beginning of a Bridge in South Africa," "The Call of the Desert: A Biography of Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus, "and" Mother Teresa: An Authorized Biography."

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Getting to Know the Pen While Reading the Letter  Mar 29, 2008
"During her lifetime, Mother Teresa resisted having her biography written in 1991, she gave Kathryn Spink, who had known Mother Teresa and been involved with her mission for thirteen years, to proceed with a full account of her life...It was also understood that the book would be completed only after Mother Teresa's death." This is part of the text from the inside of the front dust jacket of the book.

No other author received this imprimatur of Mother Teresa. If for no other reason, this reason calls the inquirer of Mother Teresa's "life and views and of the work" (front jacket) to consider the book seriously.

It may amaze some Catholics to know that the authorized biographer of Mother Teresa is not a Catholic. Kathryn Spink is a Christian of sorts but not a Catholic. However, she loves the words and work of Mother Teresa and quotes Mother Teresa's opinion of the Missionaries of Charity as the, "most disorganized organization in the world" (Preface, vi). In that quote, it could be said, Mother Teresa was giving, indirectly, an answer to Christopher Hitchens caustic critique of her. It is hard for unbelievers to understand how disorder in the Church is evidence of the order of God--and yet it is, because God can write with broken pens.

There are no footnotes, no notes at all. However, there are many quotes that are gems in the thought and work of Mother Teresa including her Nobel Peace Prize Lecture (Appendix B). Some quotes are what Christian readers expect, "I said that even if they helped one person, that was all right. Jesus would have died for one person, for one sinner" (p. 87). Others quotes only non-Christians will appreciate, "You call him Ishwar some call him Allah, some simply God, but we all have to acknowledge that it is he who made us for greater things: to love and to be loved" (pp. 155-56). There is a short but adequate Index.

The style is intimate, enjoyable, and flowing from an obvious depth of knowledge of the subject addressed. There are a number of pictures in the center of the book that historically progress through her life as if taken from the family album.

There are a couple of criticisms about the book that need to be addressed. First, it does not confront Mother Teresa's adversaries. There is only an illusion to Mr. Hitchens and not by name (p. 275). Second, there is a lack of comments, interviews, and commentary from colleagues and associates. Third, there is plenty of data about her life but the depth of how each subject is handled sometimes seems a little thin.

In response to the second and third criticisms, authors are painfully aware of this formula, pages plus cost equal higher price plus less audience. Most people do not want to pay a fortune for a book and the numbers of books sold declines as the page number increases. In this instantaneous age, few have the attention span for longer books.

Those interested in Mother Teresa's thought should inquirer into Kathryn Spink's book, The Miracle of Love. It is a shorter work but a fruitful read.

Dear reader, I hope this letter helped you understand the pen that was Mother Teresa.
An Effective Account  Oct 7, 2007
Spink has created a serious biography of Mother Teresa, which covers her life fairly comprehensively from birth to death. Mother Teresa's creation of the Missionaries of Charity, and her tireless efforts on behalf of the sick, and the poorest of the poor are well illumined by the book. Refraining from much criticism or praise, Spink also illustrates Mother Teresa's uncompromising stand against abortion, divorce and birth control. The style is a bit wandering and digressing (and as always I wish there were footnotes!), but nonetheless relays essential facts of Mother Teresa's life. The book is accessible, and recommended to anyone seriously trying to appreciate her life, in or outside an undergraduate context.
a beautiful book about a beautiful person  Sep 16, 2007
This is one of my favorite books about the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. It is very descriptive and detailed. The book also includes many old photographs of Mother Teresa, as well. This is a beautiful book about a beautiful person.
Very inspirational  Apr 16, 2006
What a great biography about this great Albanian nun.
In her own words "I am Albanian by birth. Now I am citizen of India. I am also a Catholic nun. In my work, I belong to the whole world. But in my heart, I belong to Christ".
A Life Worthy of Art  Jun 29, 2004
A life such as Mother Teresa's is deserving of an insightful vibrant and skillfully told biography. I found Kathryn Spink's "Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography" left wanting. It did not live up to the magnitude of Mother Teresa's life of service and giving throughout the world but especially in India's Calcutta in the formation and running of the Sisters of Charity.

Spink's "Mother Teresa," reads, at times, like a laundry list of events with no coherent effort made to illuminate the person behind the events. The best biographies I have found don't rely so much on the cold hard history to build a story around, but rather insight as to who the person is and how they interacted with the world. I think of skillfully told biographies in which I walked away from the reading of them with insight, motivation, and the feeling that I knew the subject and was engaged in their life. Benson's "John Steinbeck: Writer," and Morris "Theodore Rex," come to mind as examples. Spink's "Mother Teresa," does not do the same.

I credit the writer for tackling some tough issues in the last two chapters. She addresses criticisms of Mother Teresa and the Sister's of Charity co-workers and does so without sidestepping difficult points of contention. Some social work critics fault the work of Mother Teresa for not wielding her influence to address the root causes of poverty and only tackling the end-product of suffering in a simplistic manner. In addition, Mother Teresa was loyal to the Catholic Church and stood staunch in support of difficult traditional stances espoused by that organization to include pro-life in all cases. Spink's does a good job of pitting Mother Teresa's perspective of service and belief to explain why she did what she did and why she believed as she did. However, this isn't until the last two chapters of the book and this illuminating approach could have been begun on page 1.

All in all, I would only recommend this book if you are attempting to delve deeply into the life and times of Mother Teresa and have read other books on that subject. If you want a good read and are just scratching the surface finding out what Mother Teresa's life was all about, look elsewhere dear reader.


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