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Lit: A Memoir

de Mary Karr

Séries: Mary Karr's Memoirs (3)

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1,7175610,264 (3.85)32
The author reveals how, shortly after giving birth to a child she adored, she drank herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide before a spiritual awakening led her to sobriety.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Her writing is exceptional but I wearied of the self-effacement, boozy/AA recollections the religion. I was most interested in the poetry, literary cohorts and writing. The haunted husband of the story, Warren, is in fact essayist and poet Michael Milburn. ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
Sounds like it would appeal to lovers of A Million Little Pieces.
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
Ok, I cannot believe that this books is by the same person who wrote Liar's Club.

Maybe my literary standards are just much higher now, but this book was really awful.

It is a memoir about Mary's life after she basically becomes an alcoholic and then enters a 12 step program and finds God. I really didn't like anything about the book. First, she narrates a LOT. You know the adage - - show, don't tell. Well, she's a teller if ever I saw one.

She's also overly addicted to metaphors and similes. In fiction, usually an author who does this has a literary tone to the book and the language works with the subject matter. When the subject matter is alcoholism, I just think straightforward prose would work so much better.

My biggest criticism however is that the book is just boring. None of the characters are developed other than her and her husband. Her husband was by far the most interesting, and we truthfully don't get enough of him. Everyone else sort of floats in and out of the narration . . .and then, she tells us they've died or whatnot, and all I can think is "who cares?".

When I started the book I had a bad feeling. The more I read the worse it got. The last twenty percent was just abysmal, and I had to force myself to care about the fact that she finally found God.

I know I'm making the plot sound more interesting than it is. Trust me, there are many great memoirs about substance abuse. I can recommend several. This book makes A Million Little Pieces seem like a MASTERPIECE. I mean that may have been falsified, but it makes you feel something.

However, if you need something on your nightstand to put you to sleep . . .then Lit would be perfect. ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
The hird in the trilogy of Mary Karr's memoirs. Her writing is as honest about her family and personal struggles--perhaps as honest a writer as you will hope to ever read. She is a genius at memoir and infuses her story with poetic descriptions that are force you to slow down and appreciate. Her poetic descriptions are pleasing even when she is describing some horror of her history. An inspirational writer with an inspirational story.
( )
  kropferama | Jan 1, 2023 |
I loved having Mary Karr read this to me (audiobook). Her voice captures the wit and sorrow that balance "Lit" beautifully. Alcoholism, depression, and writing - they've become the trilogy of doom for so many talented writers. Karr shows us - without pity - how she got to such a dark place in her life, and her ascent toward recovery and a begrudging, but well-earned faith.

I love her candor, her cards-on-the-table confessional approach to her work and her demons, and how she had to reconcile her past (two alcoholic parents) to salvage her future (doing the best she could for her son in her efforts to recover).

I would imagine it would be easy to say that Karr spends too much time blaming her parents, or spelling out the details of her spiral into full-fledged addict, but to hear her read the story herself, the self-pity seems minimal, and the willingness to find the humor, and the humanity, in each misstep along her path, cut through. As much as I love Anne Lamott's writing - and the similarities between the two ladies are many - I find Karr to be the one who wallows less, and packs a more palpable punch.

I look forward to going back and reading "Liar's Club" next, the memoir with which I likely should've started. ( )
  TommyHousworth | Feb 5, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
We believe she means every word, fiercely dredging up memories, however wrenching to revisit. At the same time she's keeping a cool eye on what makes a story work.
 
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.
 
“Lit” is by no means a perfect performance: the sections dealing with the author’s ex-husband, Warren, feel oddly fuzzy and abstract, but for the reader who can manage to push those sections aside, the book is every bit as absorbing as Ms. Karr’s devastating 1995 memoir, “The Liars’ Club,” which secured her place on the literary map.
 

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Passage home? Never.
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For Chuck and Lynn Pascale and for Dev: Thanks for the light
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[Prologue] Any way I tell this story is a lie, so I ask you to disconnect the device in your head that repeats at intervals how ancient and addled I am.
Age seventeen, string-haired and halter-topped, weighing in the high double digits and unhindered by a high school diploma, I showed up at the Pacific Ocean, ready to seek my fortune with a truck full of extremely stoned surfers.
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The author reveals how, shortly after giving birth to a child she adored, she drank herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide before a spiritual awakening led her to sobriety.

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