Mary Karr

Mary Karr’s keynote is free and open to the public, no tickets needed, at 7 p.m., Sept. 16, Singletary Center.

Mary Karr's first memoir, The Liars' Club, is credited with sparking the memoir renaissance and won nonfiction prizes from PEN and the Texas Institute of Letters. Also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, it spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and Entertainment Weekly recently rated it number four in the top one hundred books of the past twenty-five years. Her second memoir, Cherry, was also a hit bestseller and on notable book lists at the New York Times and dozens of other publications nationwide. Her third in this autobiographical series, Lit, is the story of her alcoholism, recovery, and conversion to Catholicism. For thirty years Karr has also taught memoir, winning teaching prizes at Syracuse University. In her latest book, The Art of Memoir, she 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. 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.