Mary Karr's biography looks back through a child's eyes to sort through dark household secrets. She witnesses an inheritance squandered, endless bottles emptied, and guns leveled at both the deserving and the undeserving. In a voice stripped of self-pity and charged with brilliant energy, she introduces us to a family ravaged by lies and alcoholism, yet redeemed by the revelation of truth.
"Love Karr, This Book OK"
Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers' experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr's own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told - and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.)
Lit follows Mary Karr's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness - and her astonishing resurrection. Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting poet produces a son they adore. But she can't outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in "The Mental Marriott" awakens her to the possibility of joy, and leads her to an unlikely faith.
From Mary Karr comes the gorgeously written, often hilarious story of her tumultuous teens and sexual coming-of-age. Listen to an interview with Karr on Fresh Air.
"Mary Karr's voice makes the story come alive"
Every year there are one or two commencement speeches that strike a chord with audiences far greater than the student bodies for which they are intended. In 2015 Mary Karr's speech to the graduating class of Syracuse University caught fire, hailed across the Internet as one of the most memorable in recent years and lighting up the Twittersphere. In Now Go Out There, Karr explains why having your heart broken is just as important as - if not more important than - falling in love.
Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. This hotly anticipated sequel brings Karr’s story full circle; it will endure in the hearts of listeners alongside her influential and beloved earlier books. Simply put, it is a triumph.
J. Kenji López-Alt's techniques, Mary Karr on memory, Sammy Hagar on cooking, James Nienhuis on art.