Tag Archives: Mary Karr

Book Review: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

A View From My Summerhouse

The Art of Memoir By Mary KarrMary Karr’s newly released The Art of Memoir couldn’t have arrived at a better time for me.

As bestselling author of The Liar’s Club, Cherry and Lit, and teacher of the form for thirty years, I couldn’t wait to devour her latest creation.

Written for both the “wannabe memoirist” and “general reader”, Karr’s passion for the reading, writing and teaching of her craft bursts through the door of every chapter.

As she tells her students:

“Listen up. I’m a passionate, messy teacher. I give a rat’s ass, and my sole job is to help students fall in love with what I already worship, which means, I show you stuff I’ve read that I can’t live without.”

(An extensive list of all the memoirs she has both read and taught stretches over five pages at the back of the book and had me gawping in awe.)

And this is what…

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Review of The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr


*This is a review of Mary Karr’s newest book, The Art of Memoir, originally written for a Goodreads review.*
I have been an avid reader of Mary Karr’s work for almost twenty years so I was very excited to get this ARC. I have to say she has spoiled me for beautiful memoirs. She is a master of the craft and this book is like a present she has wrapped up and given to her readers – and to all readers who love memoir.

The Art of Memoir is also a treasure trove of invaluable information for any writer, but as a reader, I felt like I’d just crashed the private party of every memoirist’s secret place. AOM made me feel privy to insider secrets and my appreciation of the genre went even deeper. She delves into some of her favorite memorist’s efforts and explains what she thought worked and…

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The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr

Well I De-Claire


The Liars’ Club is a brilliantly written memoir by Mary Karr about her tumultuous upbringing by an alcoholic mother and a largely absent father. I read this as part of my Southern Women Writers class (Karr is from Texas, though the sense of place in the book is not distinctly Southern. Not that I had any problem with that.)

Karr had a rough childhood and some parts of the memoir are hard to read. But Karr handles her struggles and traumatic experiences in a way that doesn’t romanticize them, but doesn’t punch you in the face with them either. She has a gritty, real, writing style that is incredibly appealing and a dark sense of humor that can make you smile even when the content you’re reading makes you cringe.

Like we said in class, no one wants to read about happy childhoods and happy endings, we like reading about…

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