Lit: A Memoir

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HarperCollins Publishers, Dec 12, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages

The long awaited sequel to the beloved and bestselling ‘The Liars’ Club’ and ‘Cherry’ – a memoir about a self-professed ‘blackbelt sinner’s’ descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness, and her astonishing resurrection.

‘If you’d told me, even a year before I start taking my son to church regular that I’d wind up whispering my sins in the confessional or on my knees saying the rosary, I would’ve laughed myself cockeyed. More likely pastime? Pole dancer. International spy. Drug mule. Assassin.’

Mary Karr’s prizewinning ‘The Liars’ Club’ chronicled her hardscrabble Texas childhood and sparked a renaissance in memoir, cresting the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year. ‘Cherry’, her ecstatically reviewed account of a psychedelic adolescence and a moving sexual coming-of-age, followed it into bestsellerdom. Now ‘Lit’ answers the question asked by thousands of fans: How did Karr make it out of that toxic upbringing to tell her own tale?

Karr’s longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, blueblood poet who can quote Shakespeare by the yard produces a blond son they adore. But Karr can’t outrun her apocalyptic upbringing. 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 again, and leads her to an unlikely faith. Not since St. 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. This hotly anticipated sequel brings Karr’s story full circle; it will endure in the hearts of readers alongside her influential and beloved earlier books. Simply put, it is a triumph.

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

Mary Karr's memoir of alcoholism and recovery is beautifully written, so much so that it has inspired me to read her poetry. It is also a brutally honest and very powerful story. Read full review

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User Review  - Hope_H - LibraryThing

Lit is poet Mary Karr's third memoir. It is her story of her alcohol-fueled early career. Longing for a stable family, she thinks she and her husband Warren can build one. After she gives birth to her ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Mary Karr was born in 1955 in Texas. She is an American poet, essayist and memoirist. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry in 2005 and has won Pushcart prizes for both her poetry and her essays. She is the author of three memoirs, The Liar's Club, Cherry and Lit. She lives in New York where she teaches English at Syracuse University.

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