Mary Karr has proven my own personal idea that behind every alcoholic is a creative comedic genius just crying to get out. Lit is not only her story of getting sober, but of how she stumbled into writing memoirs.
If you have ever wondered what goes on inside the twisted mind of an alcoholic, but wanted to be laughing while learning, this is the book. Karr’s ability to laugh at her own insane antics while writing about her road to recovery had me, at times, laughing so hard that I was crying.
Let me just give you a taste….
”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.”
I have read many memoirs about getting drunk, getting sober and just plain getting over a tough childhood, but seldom have I been treated to someone letting it all hang out with a wry wit, a touch or sarcasm, and such openness as Mary Karr gifted us all in Lit.
There are a few, I think unique, ways that I measure books and their worth. One way is when passages touch me so much that I follow Art around the house, constantly telling him, “(You have to hear this.” I have to give him a hug for putting up with me on this.)
The second, and most important, way that I judge a book is by how it changes me or my outlook when I am done reading. There are great books that entertain, fill time, or maybe make me wish that I had been a spy as opposed to what I do now, but very few are good enough to not only entertain you and give you a few lightning bolt moments.
Lit, gave me a few of those moments where I suddenly understood some things that have baffled me for years. I may not be as far along in my recovery as Mary Karr is, but I am further along thanks to reading her work.
Lit: A Memoir
By Mary Karr
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper (November 3, 2009)
For more about Lit: A Memoir and Mary Karr check out Harper Collins