Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr's The Liars' Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash best sellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well.
For 30 years, Karr has also taught the form, winning teaching prizes at Syracuse. (The writing program there produced such acclaimed authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas.) In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and "black belt sinner", providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre.
Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers' experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr's own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told - and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate.
Joining such classics as Stephen King's On Writing and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, The Art of Memoir is an elegant and accessible exploration of one of today's most popular literary forms - a tour de force from an accomplished master pulling back the curtain on her craft.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2015 Mary Karr (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
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This is probably the best book on writing I’ve ever read. Mary Karr combines immensely satisfying criticism (including brilliant analyses on Vladamir Nabokov, Maya Angelou, and Michael Herr) with her own rules for memoir writing, focusing on themes of truth, carnality, and cultivating a voice, all delivered with her own mastery of language and charming Texas twang. I connected with her no-nonsense outlook on writing, and her ability to talk the reader through scribbling down the hard stuff with humor and authority. Through Karr, I found inspiration to resurrect my own tattered pages of memoir and start typing again. This is a keeper.
"Like a college course taught by Mary Karr"
When I finished listening to The Art of Memoir, I felt sad it was over. I savored it during my morning walks & felt I was privy to a much needed university course taught by Mary Karr. This is more than a book about writing, it's about honesty and hard work - I'm inspired to do many things, including writing.
Thank you Mary Karr✌️💜📚
"Fantastic info for writers! Good listening!"
Mary Karr's voice and her ability to tell a good story.
No, but only because there is so much info, I wanted to take it all in.
Highly recommend this to anyone interested in writing memoir and the art of telling a story. Mary Karr is the perfect author for this book!
"Could not stop listening!"
I'm going to listen to this book several times, there's so much meat in these words to savor.
None! There's nothing like this that I've ever read or listened to. And I've read dozens of memoir writing books in search of knowledge, inspiration...direction.
It's always good to hear the writer read her work. There's a realness to the words instead of a performance of the words.
"Hands down the best book I've read on memoir"
This book gets into the heart, body mind and soul of memoir writing. Wise, inspiring.
"learning about truth...I knew I had a life ...trut"
loved the Narration and I learned that truth IA worth telling. I had ignored that which would make others look good but truth is truth. I have very bad vision on a phone so small..computer broken..so I apologize for bad spelling but my words were important to me even though probably in a pile but I have to accept that the same may happen to my book. thank you for giving me the ability to be me.
"Slow going at the beginning"
The most memorable part of this book was the author quoting from various memoirs. She did a good job with that - but the actual instructions on writing were confusing - would have been better with a planned outline instead of the meandering style that she adopted that includes stories from the students she's taught and passages from memoirs that she'd enjoyed.
Added some humor and insight into the writing process. Of all the books about writing, the best are: "Bird by Bird", which is laugh-out-loud funny - and Stephen King's humorous and insightful book, which is not only the closest thing he's even written to a memoir, but also gives sensible advice about adopting a direct, honest style.
Comparing the style and content from other memoirs was interesting.
I didn't finish this book.
"Wanted To Like, Preachy Tenor A Turn-Off"
Read Mary Karr for great family stories and Memoir that's tough to put down. Attend the MFA program at Syracuse for first hand teaching of the trade by Ms. Karr
Felt like she phoned it in.
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