Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eat, Pray, Make Money (No: Really About Mary Karr's Lit)

I've just finished reading Mary Karr's third memoir, Lit.  She rummages through her family life (defining the "dys" in dysfunctional), her college years, marriage (didn't go so well), motherhood, alcoholism, plunge toward suicide, and awakening religious faith.  Acerbic, to-the-point, wiltingly self-deprecating.  No pious or self satisfied triumphal illusions about faith.

I have two favorite quotes to share.  From the book itself, a moment of clarity about what prayer is, a standard I am now using, as she sinks to her knees on a hospital bathroom floor, alternately hurling insults and gratitude God-ward:

"Inside it: an idea.  The thread of a different perspective than any I've ever had.  It's a thought so counterintuitive, so unlike how I think, it feels as it it originates from outside me."

And from an interview in the back of the paperback edition:

"I do pray a lot, and I think everybody wants another Eat, Pray, Make Money, but the truth is I'm a neophyte at prayer."

I nearly rolled out of bed laughing last night as I read the middle clause of that sentence.


  1. Oh, don't even get me started! Did you see there is a several day "event" on --wait for it--the HOME SHOPPING NETWORK called Eat Pray Love. Timed to coincide with the opening of the movie of course.

    As my kids used to say, gag me with a spoon!

  2. QG, I thought you *adored* that book.


    I suppose we are just jealous.

    (And, as little as I watch tv, I must have seen 100 ads for the movie so far.)

  3. I read Lit several months ago and loved it. Her candor about her own difficulties and her incredulousness about God and religion was quite refreshing. She certainly knows how to tell a story. I am now starting at the beginning of her life and reading Liar's Club.

  4. I read "the Liar's Club" at Beloved's urging; it reminds her of parts of her childhood. I think Karr is a brilliant writer. Hoping to read "Lit" one of these days.

  5. Well, I've got another book on my to read list.

  6. That's good. I know that feeling of thinking things so unlike how I think, that it has to be God. Thankful for those kinds of intrusions into my sometimes dark soul. Thanks for the quotes and the laugh.