When I read a book I love, I usually want the whole world to read it RIGHT NOW!
I’m not really trying to be demanding. I just want you to be able to share this beautiful experience with me.
But sometimes I love a book so much that I am reluctant to lend it out afterwards because I don’t want to part with it. At least not yet.
Then every once in a long while I love a book so dearly that I am not sure I can give it to you to read because if you don’t like it, well, I’m uncertain about whether or not we can still be friends.
I finished one of those this weekend.
Lit by Mary Carr.
I have savored the newest poetic prose of one brilliant, beautiful, delightful, funny, precious to my heart Mary Karr.
I have re-read sentences over and over just to drink in a little deeper the way her words make this amazing use of language. How did those words come together to do that?
She is a crafter of stories so rich I want to reach out and hold the hand of the person she is describing.
I cannot count the number of times I had to stop and cry.
What is so beautiful about her newest memoir, Lit, is that I was (mostly) crying with joy.
While reading her first book, The Liars’ Club, which of course you also must read, I cried as many times or more, but out of a sense of despair. Of, oh, dear Lord where o where were you in this suffering?
In her newest book, Mary answers, or at least, addresses that question.
But do not miss these wonderful stories if you are wary of crying, because I promise that you will laugh just as much or more.
Mary Karr is nothing if not a smart aleck from Texas, with a propensity to mouth off. (her words)
But she is also a poet.
The intersection of poetry and wit is magical.
I love her.
I am pretty sure I could listen to her tell stories for an eternity, which is why I will be personally requesting the room next to hers in heaven.
from the opening:
Now nights, I sit downstairs on the porch and stare into the black hole of the garage, which, in my childhood cosmology, was where my oil-worker daddy sat in the truck and drank himself to death. After he staggered into the house to pass out–first bumping against the sides of the hall like a train conductor–I’d go out to the garage and stand with my back to the wall, waiting for the headlights of my mother’s vehicle to come swerving up the dead-end street we lived on. Through sheer force of will, I’d draw her drunk ass home alive. Daddy was steady and stayed. Mother was an artist and left. Those two opposing colossi tore a rip in my chest I can’t seem to stitch shut.
Liars’ Club is the story of the rip in her heart.
Lit is the story of its hard wrought healing.
I am grateful for both.