MARY KARR @ Berkeley Arts & Letters
With The Liars Club and then Cherry, Mary Karr jumpstarted a renaissance in memoir while riding the best book wrap ups and bestsellers lists for years at a pop. These mesmerizing (and somehow hilarious) accounts of her apocalyptic childhood and outlaw adolescence, respectively, are contemporary classics, which left her millions of readers with one persistent, and until now unanswered, question: How did she overcome her feral upbringing to become an esteemed poet and professor and perhaps harder mother of a son who looks like something you win at a raffle?
In Lit, Karr brings the same relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, lacerating humor and irreverent outlook to chronicle her unlikely ascent into adulthood. Lit traces Karrs quest for the stable, happy family she never had growing up. Seeking safety and transformation, she marries a handsome, brilliant, patrician poet fleeing his blue-blood roots. This (mis)match between backwater Texan and old-money Easterner proves ill-fated but it does produce a beautiful son they both adore. With her marriage slowly unraveling and her poetry career stalled, she turns to alcohol, and in a matter of months morphs into the mother she fled Texas to escape.
Karr has to die and survive several circles in hell till an unlikely posse of saviors and saints help her stay clean despite her spring-loaded recoil from any spiritual talk. No one can predict the electrifying path she finds to salvation including a deep peace with the mother who once tried to kill her. Lit is a knockout saga only Mary Karr could tell with such piercing humor.
Mary Karr is the Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University, and lives in New York City.
Berkeley Arts & Letters @ The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley
ÂÂÂ $12 advance ($6 students with ID advance)/$15 door
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|