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The Liars' Club brought to vivid, indelible life Mary Karr's hardscrabble Texas childhood. Cherry, her account of her adolescence, "continued to set the literary standard for making the personal universal" (Entertainment Weekly). Now Lit follows the self-professed blackbelt sinner's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness--and to her astonishing resurrection.
Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting blueblood 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," with an oddball tribe of gurus and saviors, awakens her to the possibility of joy and leads her to an unlikely faith. Not since Saint Augustine cried, "Give me chastity, Lord-but not yet!" has a conversion story rung with such dark hilarity.
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.
Photos from Mary Karr
(Click to Enlarge)
|Mary's much adored oil-worker Daddy||Mary's artist mother, Charlie Karr||Mary, at 22, meeting poet Howard Nemerov||Mary one month before visiting the "Mental Marriott"|
|Mary, age 17, with sister Lecia, age 19||Mary and young son Dev||Mary with family before her Leitchfield Liars' Club reading||Mary celebrating the holidays with son Dev||Mary's son, Dev Milburn, in 2009|
Starred Review. Karr performs her brave memoir about alcoholism, getting sober, and getting God in a confident Texas drawl. Readers familiar with The Liar's Club, Karr's account of her childhood will find parallels--her descent into alcoholism differs from her mother's addiction only in the details. Karr revisits her past with rare candor and humor, recounting her role in the disintegration of her marriage to Warren Whitbread, the reserved scion of a fabulously wealthy family (whose other members are deliciously skewered here), and her most shameful moments (leaving her feverish toddler to take a long swig from the bottle of Jack Daniels stashed in the oven). When Karr undergoes a hard-won spiritual awakening through the combined efforts of AA; her spiritual director, Joan the Bone; and a stay in the Mental Marriott, listeners will be cheering. A Harper hardcover.
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This book begins as a dark and harrowing story of a woman out of control who is a raging alcoholic who considers suicide. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Terra Hangen
I could not put it down! Ms. Karr's journey through alcoholism and into recovery, her reluctance to allow herself to be embraced by spirituality is impeccably told. Read morePublished 6 days ago by James P. McDonagh
I've read her previous books and I really enjoyed this one. Some reviews say she focused too much on alcoholism. It's what she remembered. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kimberly McGee
Mary Karr is an amazing writer and this is a beautiful and beautifully told story. Amazon wants five more words.Published 4 months ago by Elizabeth Elliott
Fabulously written. True gutter to glory story - the glory of a life redeemed!Published 5 months ago by wannabeinwanaka
It started out obscure and messy, but the premise finally became clearer.Published 5 months ago by Olivia Claire`