This book was published in the 1970s and has been rather shrouded in mystery.
It is acclaimed on the cover of the sequel as a “worldwide bestseller.” It must have been either a short-lived or a cult-following type of bestseller, because other than the friend who gave it to me (a friend named Anna), I have yet to meet someone who’s heard of it.
I used to buy this book whenever I saw a copy of it, because it was out of print and hard to find. Now, one can find several editions ~ plus sequels ~ online. Apparently it was re-published in 2005 with an introduction by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, so maybe now it is better-known to the world.
Which is a good thing, because it’s the kind of book that sticks with you. It requires mulling over. It turns and opens up the way you see the world.
It’s billed as “the true story of a very special friendship,” and it is that, but it is actually in its way a small book of philosophy, mixed with miniature treatises on science, math, and slightly-tilted theology.
This is a book that turns the world sideways and, like looking through a prism, forces you to see things in a way you’ve never thought of before.
And on top of that, it is the story of a teenager being led by a child in her unusually stubborn attempt to think deeply about the basic issues of life. It is the story of a little girl’s insatiable, rambunctious immersion in the world, and the joy to be found in finding out what there is to find.
Mister God, This is Anna is a book I think everyone should read, and I want to give it to everyone I know. I suppose, since I’ve been saying this for years, it’s about time for me to read the two sequels…