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Finding God in Madonna

September 29, 2010 | By

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What sort of spiritual seeker uses Madonna as a role model?

Ten years ago, Wendy Shanker wrote her first book, the wildly popular memoir The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life, and became a successful Hollywood writer. Then she acquired a rare autoimmune disease. “It turns out,” writes Shanker, “my body had a sequel planned. In Are You My Guru?: How Medicine, Meditation & Madonna Saved My Life, Shanker chronicles her treatment–and her quest to cope with the disease, emotionally and spiritually.

Shanker’s search takes her to alternative medicine clinics, support groups, restaurants, a Hari Krishna center, even a stampede at the gravesite of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Along the way, she gains strength from reading about her favorite singer’s spiritual exploration of Kabbalah. Like Madonna, Shanker isn’t looking to become a spiritual master–she merely wants to find a place for spirituality in her life.

Together, the Material Girl and the fat girl don’t exactly rewrite the world’s religions, but they use them to search for meaning–and for Shanker, that search makes all the difference.

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