Tommy's Reviews > Lit

Lit by Mary Karr
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's review
Aug 28, 2010

really liked it
Read from August 28 to October 16, 2010

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.

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Quotes Tommy Liked

Mary Karr
“There's a space at the bottom of an exhale, a little hitch between taking in and letting out that's a perfect zero you can go into. There's a rest point between the heart muscle's close and open - an instant of keenest living when you're momentarily dead. You can rest there.”
Mary Karr, Lit

Reading Progress

08/28/2010 page 50
16.0% "Just started the audio version of this compelling memoir, read by Karr herself. A gifted poet and wise, restless woman."
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