Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lit by Mary Karr

I loved reading Mary Karr's other memoirs so I was excited when this one came out. Unfortunately, it took me until now to get to it.

Lit, Karr's latest memoir, details her struggles with alcohol, her road to sobriety and her converstion to Catholicism. The focus is on her early years as a writer and young parent and how alcohol impacted those things as well as contributed to the dissolution of her marriage. Timeline wise, this book takes place 9 years after the events discussed in Cherry, Karr's coming of age memoir. The story begins with Karr as a teenager and then as a college student, then as a poet and grad student and finally her family life.

I loved this memoir.  There were some parts of it that really struck home for me as a young parent - especially when Karr details the impact of her drinking on her son in particular.  It was poignant and touching and emotional and raw, but eloquent and wonderful at the same time.  She's also really meticulous and frank in her descriptions and stories.  Karr doesn't spare the reader or herself the memories and the pain and the other emotions that are attached to her struggles. She excellently conveys the tension that she experiences between her heart/emotion and her brain/intellectualism in a way that very few authors could do. 

Karr's story is inspiring and wonderful and a must read for all.

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