Today is the first official day of our memoir month so let's talk about the QUEEN.
Mary Karr is a master at her craft and, in my opinion, the one to emulate if you want to learn about memoir writing. “The Art of Memoir” was one of the most eye opening and inspiring craft book I have read to date. I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you are not a writer of nonfiction. She breaks down important elements like voice, how to choose detail, and fact checking mixed with her natural humor as well as examples from other successful (and no so) memoirs.
I’ve never read a craft book so fast, diligently taking notes and trying with all my might to absorb every detail.
Karr has written three memoirs documenting her childhood, adolescence and the aftermath of her life growing up in East Texas. These books tackle tough subjects such as rape, her mother’s nervous breakdown, alcoholism within her family and later, within herself.
Taken together, Karr’s memoirs, written in a singular voice combining poetic diction, Texas jargon and her characteristic humor, form a trilogy of sorts that span across tale of childhood, the coming-of-age story, and the transformative experience.
Have you read Mary Karr? Let me know your experience in the comments!