Wednesday, January 13, 2010
LIT by MARY KARR - WHAT A BOOK!
I heard the author on Kerry Miller's MPR show (one of the NPR local stations; this one broadcasts from St. Paul, Minnesota). Karr was witty, honest, and had a way with words that had me turning up the car radio's volume within 60 seconds. There's no way I can tell you about this memoir without trivializing it and, even worse, making it sound trite...abused child of alcoholic mother; grew up near the oil fields of eastern Texas; grows up to become an alcoholic herself; gets cured; finds religion (she'd been an atheist) and then converts to Catholicism. Trite? You bet, except in the hands of Karr, who was Minneapolis' poet laureate about 20 years ago. Aside from the tale she has to tell (and she tells it with great humor and love--yes, love--for her boozing mom and absentee dad), her ability as a writer is awesome (and I don't use that word lightly). Ya gotta read this one, then let me know what you think. I couldn't put it down. (BTW, Lit is the third of her autobiographical memoirs; The Liars' Club takes the reader through her childhood. Cherry comes next--her adolescence. Lit starts with her early college years and continues through adulthood. I'm almost through with Liar's Club and have added Cherry to the top of my to-be-read pile. This woman can write!)