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SU professor Mary Karr's Lit hits streets this week

Who could forget "The Liar's Club"? Mary Karr's memoir that started a revolution in that art form. Then there was "Cherry," her second memoir, which was excerpted in The New Yorker, also hit bestseller and "notable book" lists at the New York Times and dozens of other papers nationwide.

Now she is back with "Lit." It will be available this Tuesday, Nov. 3 from Harper Collins.

A Guggenheim Fellow in poetry, Karr has won Pushcart Prizes for both verse and essays. Other grants include the Whiting Award and Radcliffe's Bunting Fellowship.

She is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.

From Harper Collins:

"Mary Karr chronicles her descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness, and her astonishing resurrection. A recollection of her struggle to come to terms with her Christian faith after years as an agnostic that explores the relationship between spirituality and substance abuse and depression, Lit is also about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; and learning to write by learning to live."

The official Book Description

The Liars' Club brought to vivid, indelible life Mary Karr's hardscrabble Texas childhood. Cherry, her account of her adolescence, "continued to set the literary standard for making the personal universal" (Entertainment Weekly). Now Lit follows the self-professed blackbelt sinner's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness--and to her astonishing resurrection.

Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting blueblood poet produces a son they adore. But she can't outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in "The Mental Marriott," with an oddball tribe of gurus and saviors, awakens her to the possibility of joy and leads her to an unlikely faith. Not since Saint Augustine cried, "Give me chastity, Lord--but not yet!" has a conversion story rung with such dark hilarity.

Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr's relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up--as only Mary Karr can tell it.

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