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Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr's relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up—as only Mary Karr can tell it.
About the Author
Mary Karr is the author of three award-winning, bestselling memoirs: The Liars’ Club, Cherry, and Lit, as well as The Art of Memoir, also a New York Times bestseller. She received Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships for poetry and is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.
“Irresistible. . . . [Written] with trademark wit, precision, and unfailing courage.” — Pam Houston, O Magazine
“Mary Karr sparked a memoir revival with The Liars’ Club—now she’s back with Lit to describe how she turned those early troubles into literary gold.” — Body + Soul
“An absolute gem that secures Karr’s place as one of the best memoirists of her generation. . . . [She] writes with a singular combination of poetic grace and Texan verve.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“[Karr’s] poetic sensibility infuses every sentence of her story with an alliterative and symbolic energy, conjuring echoes of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, and occasionally, Sylvia Plath.” — Publishers Weekly
“Her tale is riveting, her style clear-eyed and frank. That Karr survived the emotional and physical journey she regales her readers with to become the evenhanded, self-disciplined writer she is today is arguably nothing short of a miracle, and readers of her previous two books won’t be disappointed.” — Library Journal
“Searing. . . . A book that lassos you, hogties your emotions and won’t let you go. . . . Chronicles with searching intelligence, humor and grace the author’s slow, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes painful discovery of her vocation and her voice as a poet and writer.” — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“Karr could tell you what’s on her grocery list, and its humor would make you bust a gut, its unexpected insights would make you think and her pitch-perfect command of our American vernacular might even take your breath away…. [Karr] holds the position of grande dame memoirista.” — Samantha Dunn, Los Angeles Times
“In a gravelly, ground-glass-under-your-heel voice that can take you from laughter to awe in a few sentences, Karr has written the best book about being a woman in America I have read in years.” — Susan Cheever, New York Times Book Review
“As irresistible as it is unflinchingly honest. . . . With grace, saltiness and profanity galore, Karr undeniably re-establishes herself as one of our finest memoirists and storytellers.” — Melanie Gideon, San Francisco Chronicle
“Dazzling. . . . Lit 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.” — Rebecca Steinitz, Boston Globe
“[A] radiant, rueful, rip-roaring book. . . .Warm enough to burn a hole in your heart.” — Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
“Scrappy, gut-wrenching. . . . Irresistible. . . . [Written] with trademark wit, precision, and unfailing courage.” — Pam Houston, O Magazine
“There isn’t a single false note in Lit.” — Carmela Ciuraru, Christian Science Monitor
“A redemptive, painfully funny story.” — Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
“Karr movingly depicts her halting journey into AA, making it clear her grit and spirit remain intact.” — Michelle Green, People, 3 ½ out of 4 stars
“Lit matches its predecessors in candor and outstrips them in insight.” — Commonweal
“Karr’s sharp and funny sensibility won me over to her previous two volumes, but what wins me over to Lit is the way her acute self-awareness conquers any hint that hers is the only version of this story…. Karr is as funny as ever.” — Valery Sayers, Washington Post
“With this third book Karr has managed to raise the bar higher still on the genre of memoir.” — Steve Ross, Huffington Post
“[Karr] continues to delight with her signature dark humor and pitch-perfect metaphors delivering large doses of wit and painful insights. . . . There are plenty of memoirs about being drunk, but this one has Karr’s voice-both sure-footed and breezy-behind it.” — Beth Greenfield, Time Out New York
“Mary Karr has never lacked for material. But she’s always delivered on the craft side, too, with her poet’s gift for show-and-tell.” — Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Minneapolis Star Tribune