(PDF DOWNLOAD) [The Art of Memoir] Ä Mary Karr

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Problem maybe If you re writing a memoir or considering it worth a look If you re a Karr fan why not But me I was left ambivalentPS Of all the memoirs she discussed at great or not great enough length the most intriguing to me were Frank Conroy s Stop Time and Michael Now a Buddhist Herr s Dispatches I plan to check both out at some point thanks to Mary s uotes One of my favorite anecdotes Mary Karr tells in this bookIn a private workshop with Etheridge Knight tells in this bookIn a private workshop with Etheridge Knight ex con from MISSISSIPPI AND ELSEWHERE ASHY OF KNEE and elsewhere ashy of knee with hands rusty enough to strike a match on he scolded me about the pretentious pages I turned in Way before poetry slams he used to take us into bars or onto crowded buses to read out loud Facing a listing drunk or a footsore commuter you figure out pretty uick how irrelevant much of your drivel isI love this uote not ust because I love picturing writing students reading aloud on buses but also because it sums up Mary Karr so well Etheridge Knight must have succeeded in draining all the pretentiousness out of her because for all her obvious copious talent she comes across as very real honest and unfussy in The Art of MemoirThe things I appreciated about this book were many I loved her focus on emotion and on being brutally honest with yourself in your writing uestion 45 I haven t read Mary Karr s memoirs but I certainly will after reading her masterful survey of memoirs old and new During her Texas upbringing full of alcoholism and abuse a first person coming of age story putatively true never failed to give the child me hope that I could someday grow up and get out of the mess I was in Every memoirist had lived to tell the tale Over the last decade memoirs have rapidly become one of my favorite genres I read them for a cathartic effect similar to what Karr describes but also out of sheer curiosity how have other people found purpose in and made sense of their daily lives No matter the outward differences between us I can sense a deep parity between myself and almost any autobiographical writerI would recommend this book to anyone who reads andor secretly wants to write memoirs for the latter group there is a wealth of practical advice here on topics such as choosing the right carnal details not sexual or not only sexual but physicality generally correcting your facts and misconceptions figuring out a structure and settling on your voice Along the way Karr discusses a number of favorite memoirs in detail sometimes even line by line Wild by Cheryl Strayed Stop Time by Frank Conroy A Childhood by Harry Crews Maya Angelou s books Speak Memory by Nabokov and so on Plus there s an appendix of recommended reading that looks like an incredible resource and will surely bloat my TBR even furtherThis is a very readable and uotable book Karr has been teaching memoirs at Syracuse University for years now so she s thought deeply about what makes them work or not and sets University for years now so she s thought deeply about what makes them work or not and sets theories out clearly for readers at any level of familiarity Here s one uote from the very end of the book in which she gives us an idea of how important memoirs can beI still feel awe for us for the great courage all of us show in trying to wring some truth from the godawful mess of a single life To bring oneself to others makes the whole planet less lonely The nobility of everybody trying boggles the mind None of us can ever know the value of our lives or how our separate and silent scribbling may add to the amenity of the world if only by how radically it changes us one and by one. S down the key elements of great literary memoir she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history whether writer or reader will relateJoining such classics as Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird The Art of Memoir is an elegant and accessible exploration of one of today’s most popular literary forms a tour de force from an accomplished master pulling back the curtain on her craf. Eral sage pieces of advice on how to do ust that ranging from the importance of remaining truthful to the skill of always addressing your target audience She uses a gamut of memoirs including her own to use as case studies for her argu I received this as an ARCThis book is advertised as a book about the art of memoir writing But it s about so much the art of beautiful words the art of truth and the art of living an examined life While I initially thought this book would Be An Interesting Read an interesting read ultimately not relevant to me as a fiction writer I came away with lots of insights that I believe will help any writer of any genre hone their craft as well as inspire readers with the wonder of a really well told story I ll say up front Mary Karr is wildly talented I ve never read a book on writing with such a blatant voice While I haven t read any of Karr s 3 critically acclaimed memoirs I immediately went out and bought Lit and Liar s ClubReally wonderful read This is one of the strangest books I ve read and I am finding it almost impossible to write a review Maybe it s because I was expecting something different I was expecting a book that would help writers who wanted to write a memoir This book does not do that The Art of Memoir is of a memoir about writing a book on how to write a memoir Yes it is as disjointed as this description sounds Apparently Mary Karr is a messy teacher and I can understand why after reading this Bits of advice are fractured with examples of memoirs and then confused with about the author s obsessive uest for the truthI think a book on the art of memoir should offer practical advice This is a how to book written in a literary style The two genres do not mix It s always hard to udge a book read in fits and starts When you re busier than usual you pick up your book of the moment at odd times And even if you end every day like I do reading in bed the busyness of your life often leads to an early date with Hypnos the Greek god of sleep Thus another start ends only now in a sleeping fitI Rallied At The End Of at the end of Karr s book however taking the last 100 pp by storm It helped My 3 stars began to lean four ish It s a short book for one thing and seemingly wears three hats At times it wants to be a how to book on writing written by a professor Karr who teaches memoir writing at university Syracuse I believe At times it wants to be literary criticism going off on certain memoirs and their merits It even ends with a long and I do mean long list of must read memoirs And finally at times it is straight up biography or memoir of memoir writing Mary Here s me writing Liar s Club And me waving as I write Cherry Here I am again this time Lit up With it comes background information of the writer at work and at war or peace with the subjects of her memoir Mom Daddy Sis Hubby lover tinker tailor soldier spyOne thing Karr makes clear is the power of voice If you can t establish voice in your writing stick to your day ob Despite the identity crisis in this book s somewhat scattered approach at times it feels like the syllabus of her course itself OK class where the hell was I when we last met Whatever Today I ve decided to talk about Karr s voice comes across in spades One annoyance however is her decision to call sensory details carnal Maybe it s me Maybe it s an old movie that I never saw but heard plenty about in my youth Carnal Knowledge but carnal seems all wrong in the list of reuirements but heard plenty about in my youth Carnal Knowledge but carnal seems all wrong in the list of reuirements good writers Class you must think carnallyOh well My. Apy patient writer and spiritual seeker recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner” providing a uniue window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent insightful and entertaining as her own work in the genreAnchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experience The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr’s own process Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth As she break. The Art of Memoir