Mary Karr discusses The Art of Memoir
September 24, 2015, by Erika Jo Brown
On Thursday evening, September 17th, an audience assembled in a downtown Houston church to celebrate the Word—that is, we gathered to venerate the literary words of Mary Karr, memoirist, poet, and author of the newly released craft book, The Art of Memoir.
It was a rare treat to be in Christ Church Cathedral, with its calming gardens, majestic stained glass, well-worn, worshipped-upon wooden pews, aroma of aged books, and the idea of “ministering” in mind. Through her memoirs Lit, The Liar’s Club, and Cherry, as well as poetry collections Abacus, The Devil’s Tour, Sinners Welcome, and Viper Rum, Karr has concocted spiritual balms for readers, who appreciate her signature wit and honesty.
The event was doubly jubilant, serving as a homecoming of sorts for the Texas-born author and as a launch for Inprint’s new season.
As a Southern storytelling worth her salt, Karr began by drolly reflecting on her genesis as a reader, writer, and social person. “I was a biter,” she joked, of her youth, and “my career goal in high school was to stay out of the penitentiary.” Later, she expounded on her struggle to find her voice: “I wanted to be fancier and go to school at the Sorbonne…not a red-neck from Port Arthur. TX.” Continue reading