Mary Karr on ‘The Art of Memoir’

“In Texas, there’s such a great oral tradition of storytelling – that’s really where I became a writer.”

By Emily DonahueSeptember 21, 2015 9:15 am

Mary Karr is famous for writing memoirs.

Her first, “The Liar’s Club” was a simultaneously hilarious, tragic, passionate and precise recounting of her chaotic childhood in East Texas. Her second, “Lit,” chronicled her struggles with addiction and her ultimate redemption. Both were huge critical and commercial successes.

Now, Karr’s written a primer on how to write a memoir called “The Art of Memoir.”

“From the time I was ten, I wrote in my little journal ‘When I grow up, I will write one half poetry and one half autobiography.’ There was something for me about a single voice – crying out from the middle of a single life, trying to figure out what’s going on – that I always found very moving.” she says.