Friday, December 30, 2011


Just finished Marry Karr's memoir, "Lit," a scrappy, hilarious, excruciating journey through literature, hard drinking, madness and the meaning of life. Boy howdy, that's a big portion, you might say. That's a chicken fried steak smothered with gravy. And it is. You may remember Karr from the piss-poor West Texas childhood she chronicled with wicked wit in "Liar's Club," the bestselling book in the nineties that started off this memoir craze (forgive her for that maudlin trend). A bright, wounded kid, she survived poverty, rape, alcoholism and a crazy mother who set fire to her toys and tried to kill her. In "Lit," she strips and kneels and begs for mercy. She stares into the darkness. At the same time, she offers no sepia-toned homilies, no easy answers, no simple 12-step program for redemption. Just life in all its infuriating complexity. Boy, howdy. A great book.

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