The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr


The Art of Memoir - Mary KarrI’ve been thinking for a while of attempting a memoir and came across this book not too long ago. I’m adding it to the list of books that I’d love to reread a few times because I really want the concepts to stick. Karr teaches memoir writing and has some great advice for hopefuls. Unfortunately, most of it involves baring your soul a little more than I really want to. On the bright side, I’ve learned that I am far from the first one to have this fear.

I’ve wondered how so many of the memoir writers really let some stuff out there that would mortify me, especially when they admit to being a little embarrassed themselves. But it’s a necessary part of the process, it’s part of how we identify with the authors. What would be the point if we were going to make it all sound perfect? Still, it’s hard to wrap my head around. That’s just one example of the advice that Karr gives for aspiring memoirists.

I loved how many examples she gives for memoirs gone right and memoirs gone wrong along with things that have happened in the classroom, particular about the way people can disagree about what happened. I know I’ll have tons of research to verify my memory when I sit down to write one day and this book totally solidified that thought.

It’s a great book to read for anyone interested in memoirs, not just those interested in writing them. As someone who tends to geek out on my interests, its great just to hear about the process people go through to put out their story and that I’m not alone in my adoration for people who are willing to tell the world what they’ve actually been through. It gave me hope that I might get through it all one day too and tell my own story. I’m not sure if that was one of Karr’s intentions, but I surely appreciated that aspect of it.

For those interested in picking up this book, click on the cover image to be redirected to BookLikes for options worldwide or add to Goodreads for later.

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