The Art of Memoir

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Product Details
$16.99  $15.80
Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.0 X 0.7 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

Mary Karr is the author of three award-winning, bestselling memoirs: The Liars' Club, Cherry, and Lit, as well as The Art of Memoir, also a New York Times bestseller. She received Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships for poetry and is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.


"Karr is a national treasure--that rare genius who's also a brilliant teacher. This joyful celebration of memoir packs transcendent insights with trademark hilarity. Anyone yearning to write will be inspired, and anyone passionate to live an examined life will fall in love with language and literature all over again. " -- George Saunders

"Could have been called 'The Art of Living.'" -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Mary Karr has written another astonishingly perceptive, wildly entertaining, and profoundly honest book-funny, fascinating, necessary. The Art of Memoir will be the definitive book on reading and writing memoir for years to come." -- Cheryl Strayed

"Should be required reading for anyone attempting to write a memoir, but anyone who loves literature will enjoy it too." -- Wall Street Journal

"Terrific and deliciously readable guide." -- Entertainment Weekly, "Must List"

"Full of Karr's usual wit, compassion and, perhaps most reassuringly, self-doubt. Her fans should be delighted--and they can't go wrong reading the books she discusses, including her own." -- Washington Post

"From a contemporary luminary of the form, Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir examines our enduring drive to make memory speak and to 'wring some truth from this godawful mess of a single life.'" -- Vogue

"The Art of Memoir is passionate and irreverent-and reminds us why we love a good memoir." -- Elle

"Mary Karr strikes a vein in The Art of Memoir." -- Vanity Fair

"Karr is such fun to read-who else would combine the name Nabokov and the phrase "out the wazoo" on her very first page?" -- New Yorker

"Engaging." -- Chicago Tribune

"A veritable blueprint for the genre.... Lovers of the form and aspiring scribblers alike will relish this comprehensive appreciation of and guide to 'writing the real self.'" -- O: The Oprah Magazine

"With a trio of notable memoirs ("The Liars' Club," "Cherry," and "Lit"), Mary Karr is exquisitely qualified to write this book, a kind of compendium of advice, warning, and deep insight into what makes a personal history stick in a reader's mind." -- Boston Globe

"Karr really is an artist. The Art of Memoir attests to how hard she works at getting her words just right and how deeply she understands the way great writing works." -- Slate

"Whip-smart." -- Philadelphia Inquirer

"As useful for those of us who want to be better friends and lovers as it is for those of us who want to pen our life story." -- More

"A master class on memoir, from a memoirist who pulls no punches." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Lots of practical advice, a great reading list, examples you can bite into." -- Houston Chronicle

"Karr's own voice is consistent and authentic, as vivid, down-home, smart, profane and self-deprecating as it is in her own memoirs." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A celebration of the creative life." -- Austin American-Statesman

"Enlightening....Fresh and heartfelt....Instructs and inspires through example and a love for the art of memoir." -- Library Journal, starred review

"Karr write[s] exquisitely...and without pretense, often with raw authenticity....a must-read." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Snappy and witty, humorous just when it needs to be, yet plainspoken in the best way." -- Shelf Awareness

"Karr's sassy Texas wit and her down-to-earth observations about both the memoir form and how to approach it combine to make for lively and inspiring reading. A generous and singularly insightful examination of memoir." -- Kirkus