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Lit by Mary Karr
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1,358478,829 (3.85)30
The author reveals how, shortly after giving birth to a child she adored, she drank herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide before a spiritual awakening led her to sobriety.
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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Wow. Wow. Such beautiful sentences! Nick was trying to read his own book and I kept interrupting him to say, "Listen to THIS sentence." Leaves aren't yet tumbling from the trees, but for me, all color is leaching from the landscape." Evocative. A tiny visual poem. Every page has a sentence like that.

It's also quite funny. My husband and I shared a waterbed for many years, and so when we read at night, if one person laughed it caused the bed to jiggle and the other person had trouble reading. We made a rule about reading "No jigglers in bed." We now have a standard mattress, but this book is definitely a jiggler.

There were some heartbreaking sentences about AA (which is never named. A reverse anonymity!)
"'You're asking me to put my life in the hands of strangers who give not one real shit for my true well being?' 'They probably care more than you do, Joan counters.'" (p.207 in my edition) and then on p.234, a series of questions we all must ask ourselves at some desperate, failing, pointless point in our lives "But what if I don't believe in God?...I want to surrender but I have no idea what that means....What if I get no answer there?" ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
I enjoyed the writing style of this book and as well about her life story.
It is amazing that she can remember everything and I hardly remember last week.
It must be very hard to write honestly about your past even when that means hurt other people you love and care about or even yourself. This story reminds me like a confession at church. Something that happen in life are hard to talk about, but they need to see the light so you can deal with what going on and move on with your life.

Well if you haven't read this book you really should. It was good.
I would really like to read her early memoirs and see the progression the this book. ( )
  lemonpop | Nov 22, 2017 |
I started this book once before but couldn't get into it. This time I got to the good stuff. I like Mary's way of writing/describing things. Very meaningful. Much of the book is about her alcoholism, which I could identify with. ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 14, 2017 |
Mary Karr's memoir of alcoholism and recovery is beautifully written, so much so that it has inspired me to read her poetry. It is also a brutally honest and very powerful story. ( )
  nmele | Jun 28, 2017 |
I think if you are unfamiliar with addiction, you may find this book interesting. If you live in "the rooms" as do many recovering from addictions, you'll find the story similar to those we hear nearly everyday. The disease of alcoholism is devastating and deadly. Those gripped by it who are in recovery have heard her story over and over. I found nothing new here. It is a good book for those, especially new moms who are often isolated, who may find themselves getting into a little trouble with the bottle. ( )
1 vote ErinDenver | Jun 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
We believe she means every word, fiercely dredging up memories, however wrenching to revisit. At the same time she's keeping a cool eye on what makes a story work.
 
In a gravelly, ground-glass-under-your-heel voice that can take you from laughter to awe in a few sen­tences, Karr has written the best book about being a woman in America I have read in years.
 
“Lit” is by no means a perfect performance: the sections dealing with the author’s ex-husband, Warren, feel oddly fuzzy and abstract, but for the reader who can manage to push those sections aside, the book is every bit as absorbing as Ms. Karr’s devastating 1995 memoir, “The Liars’ Club,” which secured her place on the literary map.
 
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Epigraph
Passage home? Never.
The Odyssey, Book 5, Homer (trans. Robert Fagles)
Dedication
For Chuck and Lynn Pascale and for Dev: Thanks for the light
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Any way I tell this story is a lie, so I ask you to disconnect the device in your head that repeats at intervals how ancient and addled I am.
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