“A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.” Mary Karr is beloved for her salty memoirs in which she traces her harrowing childhood in southeast Texas with a mother who once tried to kill her with a butcher’s knife and her own adult struggles with alcoholism and breakdown. She has a captivating ability to give voice to what is funny and wild in life’s most heartbreaking moments. Mary Karr embodies this wryness and wildness in her lesser-known spiritual practice as a devout Catholic — an unexpected move she made in mid-life.
is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University. Her books include The Liars’ Club, Lit, and Now Go Out There (and Get Curious). Her celebrated guide, The Art of Memoir, is now in paperback.