Harper Academic


A Memoir

by Mary Karr

On Sale: 11/03/2009

Price: $8.99


Listen to a Sample Enlarge Book Cover


A Memoir

by Mary Karr

On Sale: 11/03/2009


Price: $8.99

About the Book

Mary Karr’s third memoir, Lit, tells her tale of 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 coming-of-age story. Karr, the self-professed blackbelt sinner, painstakingly reveals her descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness-and her astonishing resurrection.

“[Lit] Reminds us not only how compelling personal stories can be, but how, in the hands of a master, they can transmute into the highest art.”-Rebecca Steinitz, Boston Globe

Critical Praise

“Searing. . . . A book that lassos you, hogties your emotions and won’t let you go. . . . Chronicles with searching intelligence, humor and grace the author’s slow, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes painful discovery of her vocation and her voice as a poet and writer.” - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Karr could tell you what’s on her grocery list, and its humor would make you bust a gut, its unexpected insights would make you think and her pitch-perfect command of our American vernacular might even take your breath away…. [Karr] holds the position of grande dame memoirista.” - Samantha Dunn, Los Angeles Times

“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.” - Susan Cheever, New York Times Book Review

“As irresistible as it is unflinchingly honest. . . . With grace, saltiness and profanity galore, Karr undeniably re-establishes herself as one of our finest memoirists and storytellers.” - Melanie Gideon, San Francisco Chronicle

“Dazzling. . . . Lit reminds us not only how compelling personal stories can be, but how, in the hands of a master, they can transmute into the highest art.” - Rebecca Steinitz, Boston Globe

“[A] radiant, rueful, rip-roaring book. . . .Warm enough to burn a hole in your heart.” - Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

“Scrappy, gut-wrenching. . . . Irresistible. . . . [Written] with trademark wit, precision, and unfailing courage.” - Pam Houston, O Magazine

“There isn’t a single false note in Lit.” - Carmela Ciuraru, Christian Science Monitor

“A redemptive, painfully funny story.” - Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today

“Karr movingly depicts her halting journey into AA, making it clear her grit and spirit remain intact.” - Michelle Green, People, 3 ½ out of 4 stars

“Karr’s sharp and funny sensibility won me over to her previous two volumes, but what wins me over to Lit is the way her acute self-awareness conquers any hint that hers is the only version of this story…. Karr is as funny as ever.” - Valery Sayers, Washington Post

“Mary Karr has never lacked for material. But she’s always delivered on the craft side, too, with her poet’s gift for show-and-tell.” - Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A brutally honest, sparkling story.” - Glamour

“Mary Karr restores memoir form’s dignity with Lit.” - Vanity Fair

“With this third book Karr has managed to raise the bar higher still on the genre of memoir.” - Steve Ross, Huffington Post

Lit matches its predecessors in candor and outstrips them in insight.” - Commonweal

“[Karr] continues to delight with her signature dark humor and pitch-perfect metaphors delivering large doses of wit and painful insights. . . . There are plenty of memoirs about being drunk, but this one has Karr’s voice-both sure-footed and breezy-behind it.” - Beth Greenfield, Time Out New York

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780061959684
  • ISBN 10: 0061959685
  • Imprint: HarperCollins e-books
  • On Sale: 11/03/2009
  • Pages: 464
  • List Price: $8.99
  • BISAC1 : FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Dysfunctional Families
  • BISAC3 : SELF-HELP / Substance Abuse & Addictions / Alcohol