The Virgin Mary—mythic, spiritually compelling, and intellectually fascinating—has captivated people for over two thousand years. In Full of Grace, I offer a new twist on this popular subject, taking the reader inside Mary’s world in ancient Palestine and showing, equally, how thoroughly she inhabits our own, twenty-first century experiences. The book touches on Mary’s Jewish roots, her veneration by Muslims, and, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, powerful presence in Hispanic communities. More intimately, I explore the joys of motherhood and friendship, the nature of surrender, the dignity of work and the pain of loss through a Marian lens in 59 essays—one for each bead of the rosary. Illustrated with master works of art and unexpected contemporary pieces. Random House, November 2, 2010. 352 pages, 65 color illustrations, $40 retail. Catholic Press Association awards: First Place, Spirituality and First Place, Design and Production. Click for reviews, art gallery, and author appearances.