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The Art of Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Sep 15 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1St Edition edition (Sept. 15 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062223062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062223067
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 336 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“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)

From the Back Cover

Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash bestsellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well.

For thirty years Karr has also taught the form, winning teaching prizes at Syracuse.  (The writing program there produced such acclaimed authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas.) In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre.

Anchored 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 breaks 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 relate.

Joining 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 craft.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was so thrilled to find out that my favourite memoir writer had published a book on the genre. As a memoir writer myself, I was enormously inspired by Karr's emphasis on the beauty of language, the poet's vision part in her "sheer convincing poetry of a single person trying to make sense of the past." She inspired me to look at every single sentence of my latest memoir after I'd finished the first draft to see if I could make it better. She had been told that piece of advice years earlier about her poetry, that every line could be improved, and I think it's something that all writers should take to heart. The more you put into your writing, and I suppose, into life itself, the most you and others get out of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Incredible book, highly recommend for anyone interested in the memoir and its forms and functions. This is a super lively read and it is packed full of detailed descriptions of the great memoirs/memoirists.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Terrific writer. Terrific book. That's it, that's all. Buy the book.
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