Sep 4, 2015

Book Beginning: THE ART OF MEMOIR by Mary Karr

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader. Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. Post it. Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice.
Also, visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.


The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, published September 2015 by Harper
Genre: nonfiction

Book beginning, Ch. 1, The Past's Vigor
At unexpected points in life, everyone gets waylaid by the colossal force of recollection. One minute you're a grown-ass woman, then a whiff of cumin conjures your dad's curry, and a whole door to the past blows open, ushering an uncanny detail. There are traumatic memories that ride u unbidden and dwarf you where you stand. But there are also memories you dig for: you start with a clear fix on a tiny instant, and pick at every knot until a thin thread comes undone that you can follow back through the mind's labyrinth to other places. We''ve all interrogated ourselves -- It couldn't have been Christmas because we had shorts on in the snapshot. Such memories start by being figured out, but the useful ones eventually gain enough traction to haul you through the past. 
Page 56:
Trying to catalogue Nabakov's talents would take a library, and yet not to call out Speak, Memory in a book about memoir would be like Fourth of July sans fireworks. 
IThe Art of Memoir, Mary Karr synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre. (publisher)

I loved this book, and even started writing, inspired by its concepts and straightforward advice.

10 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great read. I really like that first passage that you quoted. As I get a little but older I can relate to much of it.

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  2. Such wonderfully descriptive writing. It sounds addictive and I'd love to read this book! Have a great read and holiday weekend!

    My 56 - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/09/04/the-friday-56-76-brood-x/

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  3. This sounds really interesting. I liked the beginning. My 56 this week comes from Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas. Happy reading!

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  4. I love Karr's writing, and I can totally relate to the "sense memory" she describes...for me, it could be the smell of Copper Tone or a song from the 60s.

    I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for sharing. Here's mine: “THE IN-BETWEEN HOUR”

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  5. I enjoyed the beautiful writing in the opening. This sounds like a good book for anyone who is contemplating writing a memoir.

    My Friday post features True Believer.

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  6. Glad you enjoyed the book.

    I like the beginning.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

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  7. Sounds like a great book for those who struggle with writing their memoir, or don't know where to start.
    Happy weekend!

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  8. The beginning was a very vivid read. I liked the 56 too!

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  9. I like that first paragraph. I hadn't been interested in this before but now after reading that, I am. Karr is too bright and good not to read this. I like that you were inspired by it. I could use that too.

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  10. I really like the sound of this memoir. Glad u shared with us this week.

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I love getting comments and your thoughts...