Lit by Mary Karr
A Memoir

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Synopsis

Mary Karr’s bestselling, unforgettable sequel to her beloved memoirs The Liars’ Club and Cherry—and one of the most critically acclaimed books of the year—Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live.

The Boston Globe calls Lit a book that “reminds us not only how compelling personal stories can be, but how, in the hands of a master, they can transmute into the highest art." The New York Times Book Review calls it “a master class on the art of the memoir” in its Top 10 Books of 2009 Citation. Michiko Kakutani calls it “a book that lassos you, hogties your emotions and won’t let you go” in her New York Times review. And Susan Cheever states, simply, that Lit is “the best book about being a woman in America I have read in years."

In addition to the New York Times, Lit was named a Best Book of 2009 by the New Yorker (Reviewer Favorite), Entertainment Weekly (Top 10), Time (Top 10), the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, Slate, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Seattle Times.

 

About Mary Karr

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Mary Karr is a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. She has won Pushcart Prizes for both verse and essays, and is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University. Her previous two memoirs, The Liars' Club and Cherry, were New York Times bestsellers.
 
Published October 14, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 580 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lit

Kirkus Reviews

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Acclaimed poet and bestselling memoirist Karr (English Literature/Syracuse Univ.;

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The New York Times

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Mary Karr’s searing new memoir of alcoholism and recovery is every bit as absorbing as her devastating 1995 memoir, “The Liars’ Club,” which secured her place on the literary map.

Nov 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

The New York Times

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Mary Karr’s third memoir layers the pangs of recovery with those of motherhood, divorce and making art.

Nov 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

BC Books

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Lit by Mary Karr is a harrowing and riveting memoir of Karr's life from late adolescence to adulthood as she tries to escape her past and recover from alcoholism.

Oct 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

The Globe and Mail

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You might blame Mary Karr for our love affair with the survivor memoir.

Dec 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

Entertainment Weekly

Yes, if your notion of inspiration can include such vinegary bits as Karr's Christmas wish list: ''This year I've asked for a crock pot, but I secretly long for a Smith & Wesson.'' Karr writes about her binge drinking and her long struggle to accept the methods of Alcoholics Anonymous wit...

Nov 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

The Washington Post

The poet Mary Karr has produced three provocatively titled memoirs -- "The Liars' Club," "Cherry" and now "Lit" -- to tell her life story, or at least her story up to the point when she published the first installment in 1995.

Nov 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

Oregon Live

Readers who loved Mary Karr's best-selling memoirs, "The Liars' Club," about her raw, growing-up-in-spite-of-her-parents childhood in Texas, or "Cherry," about her drug-hazed coming of age in California, will also love her new book, "Lit," about her painful navigation through alcoholism and depre...

Nov 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

Review (Barnes & Noble)

In 1995, a poet by the name of Mary Karr helped change the landscape of publishing, making memoir the mountain every writer wanted to climb, because from its heights one could survey literary fame and sizable royalty checks.

Nov 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

Chicago Tribune

Karr fixes her drunk gaze on the garage, which brings on a "mind jump" back to her oil-worker father, sitting in the garage in Leechfield, Texas, drinking himself to death.

Jan 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

Bookmarks Magazine

The Liar's Club (1995) chronicles acclaimed memoirist and poet Mary Karr's turbulent, neglected Texas childhood;

Nov 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

Oprah.com

With trademark wit, precision, and unfailing courage, Karr recounts her aspiring years, between the day her school principal warned her that "any girl aiming to become a poet was doomed to become...no more than a common prostitute" and the day, decades later, when her larger-than-life mother woul...

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The Austinist

“Drinking to handle the angst of Mother’s drinking—caused by her own angst—” she writes, “means our twin dipsomanias face off like a pair of mirrors, one generation offloading misery to the other through dwindling generations, back through history to when humans first fermented grapes.” Mary Ka...

Nov 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Lit: A Memoir

The Cresset

Karr’s desire was not that her mother be more “like Dada.” Although Karr loved her father, Pete Karr was as desperate a drunk as Charlie and never a serious contender for Father of the Year, even in gritty Leechfield, Texas, where Karr spent most of her girlhood.

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Reader Rating for Lit
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