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Mary-Karr
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Registered: ‎10-07-2009
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Toby was a friend more than a mentor. He taught fiction when I was matriculated in the poetry program. Then when I was at Radcliffe, This Boy's Life came out, and I wrote him a fan letter asking for advice, and he said, "Take no care for your dignity..." Which I've strived to do. Then we were colleagues for more than 10 years, and he's actually my godfather--but Toby's also a master of fiction and non-, so I bow my head at the comparison.

Thanks for that. MK

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Stephanie
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6


Mary-Karr wrote:

The publisher usually pries pages from my hands, and I leave claw marks. As for being honest, do you mean because I'd be embarrassed? I'm descended from a pair of outlaws chose to be a poet--not exactly a career designed to impress the world. I worry like hell that  family and friends find it accurate, psychologically true, morally fair. Its literary value worries me like crazy. I'd rather eat a bug than bore anybody nice enough to buy one of my books. My reputation has sucked since I was about eight, so nobody expects me to be much different than I am.


 

Not embarrassed so much  - I don't think many people can admit their faults to themselves in their own mind, much less put them down on paper.  I think it's very difficult to look at things we've done and say, "Hey, I did that. It was terrible and I'm thankful to be past it."   I'm just thankful to be past it, and don't really want to look at it, especially if it's somewhat painful.  I imagine though, that being able to do that is ultimately a great thing to do for yourself. 

 

Don't ever worry about being boring - I don't think you have it in you.  What compelled me to read like a madwoman was your style.    

 

Is there anything that you do now just for yourself?  A sort of "Mary time" or a special treat?

 

 

Stephanie
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Mary-Karr
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

It's all Mary time, really. The past few years the wagon has been loaded, and I'm known for overworking. But I take great pleasure in small things--making dinner for friends--Sunday night I roasted a chicken and did some kale with toasted seasame oil, and at the last minute, I made a cream gravy like my mother used to make. I take funk and hip-hop dance classes--used to do more yoga. The prayer I do comforts me, helps to unhook my head from its jabbering, and I actually go to Mass--go figure. In terms of travel,  I visit my sister outside Phoenix and h ike those red rock canyons and feel like an Indian scout. I have a ten-year-old godson in London named Orson--a red-headed Brit who snorkles in Corsica with me every summer. And my son and I visited Paris last summer on the way there. My nephew conducts an orchestra in LA. Plus New York is full of full body Korean scrubs and spicy curry and decent fried chicken. It's hard for me not to have fun so long as I'm not working like a dawg.

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Hotpen
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Loving Lit so far.

 

I couldn't help but laugh, but did the reporter cough up the $100 bucks or not?

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Mary-Karr
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Nahhh. Talk is cheap, but no 100 bucks for my panties.

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Stephanie
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Mary,

 

Heard you on NPR this afternoon.  Caught it a bit late, and it took me about two seconds to realize it was you, talking about Lit.   Yes, you're that recognizable!

 

Readers: Click here to listen and read the story.

 

I love that you can call Don DeLillo.  Color me green. :smileyhappy:    Is he as cool as I think he must be?

 

Lit  is a fantastic read.  It almost feels as if I'm in tandem with you, going through what you're feeling and thinking while I'm reading.  Did you intend for your readers to "be there" alongside you like that?  It definitely adds a keen understanding that I might not otherwise have had. 

 

I'm impressed that Mass was the service you chose.  I think most people who begin as agnostics would opt for a less structured ceremony.  Personally, I love religious tradition. I was raised with it, and I find comfort in the familiar, I suppose.  

 

 

Stephanie
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ChrisSnyder
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Registered: ‎10-27-2009
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Thanks for the link, Stephanie.

 

What's you next project, Mary? Poetry or more memoir?

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Mary-Karr
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Poetry right now, but I have an idea for a book about memoir--both a critical book and a textbook.

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Mary-Karr
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

DeLillo is Yoda. I can't believe I get to talk to him either. Lucky me.

 

Glad you like LIT. I'm thrilled with the reviews--one in PEOPLE, one in USA TODAY tomorrow. Yes, I intend for readers to "be there". Nothing else matters to me but the readers' experience--that it be rich and varied and full of feeling.

 

As for Mass, I didn't choose to be Catholic, it chose me. Or God chose me for that particular venue. As I say in the book, I would've laughed myself cockeyed at the prospect. Being a pole dancer seemed more likely. I went from lifelong atheist to that. Go figure.

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Mary-Karr
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6 Check out this fan film

On my facebook fan page, there's a video made by the literary clubof Beaver Country Day School in Boston, MA--featuring a beaver and a herd of kids who call themselves The Liars' Club. I laughed till I cried, and I'm going to their 7:30 a.m. class tomorrow despite my hectic schedule. The film is what a writer lives for--yeah you wanna sell a million books, but more than that, you want a deep connection with your readers. I've won the writer's lottery with this.

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6 Check out this fan film

 

See if this link works. If not, go to Mary's Facebook page to play it. The video is super cute!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Karr/119270387553?ref=search&sid=1343694833.3343890950..1#/video/...


Mary-Karr wrote:

On my facebook fan page, there's a video made by the literary clubof Beaver Country Day School in Boston, MA--featuring a beaver and a herd of kids who call themselves The Liars' Club. I laughed till I cried, and I'm going to their 7:30 a.m. class tomorrow despite my hectic schedule. The film is what a writer lives for--yeah you wanna sell a million books, but more than that, you want a deep connection with your readers. I've won the writer's lottery with this.


 

 

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Vampirelover15JC
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Registered: ‎01-20-2009
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Hi Mary I am a high school student and I am taking a Creative writing class where my teacher had us a pick a book from a selection he had and the one I picked was Sinners Welcome and I just wanted to say that I loved the poems especially "Who the meek are not"

Stupid Volvo Owner
-Bella
Running away like dying is easy its living thats hard
-The Black Stallion

Emmett is a Sexy Beast
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Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Mary Karr: Nov 2-6

Mary- thanks so much for joining us this week.  I'm so glad you were able to take the time out to talk to us about your new memoir, and life in general.   I'm looking forward to seeing what you bring us next.

 

Thanks again,

Stephanie