Mary Karr Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Mary Karr Quotes

#1. The editor self thinks only of saving the reader time and shaping a powerful emotional experience. - Author: Mary Karr
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#2. I'm doomed to act like myself, even when it's inconvenient! - Author: Mary Karr
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#3. Most of the people I write about I'm still in touch with, so I would be loath to make up stuff about them. - Author: Mary Karr
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#4. You are loved, someone said. Take that and eat it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#5. She holds every dress briefly by its shoulders like it's a schoolkid she's checking out for smudges before church. Then one by one they get flung away from her and into the fire. - Author: Mary Karr
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#6. I've plumb forgot where I am for the instant, which is how a good lie should take you. At the same time, I'm more where I was inside myself than before Daddy started talking, which is how lies can tell you the truth. - Author: Mary Karr
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#7. Standing in the shower, I feel something on the back of my leg that turns out to be my ass. - Author: Mary Karr
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#8. The first night he slept with her, he took a washrag and a jug of wood alcohol to get rid of her makeup, saying he wanted to know what he was getting into. - Author: Mary Karr
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#9. Young writers often mistakenly choose a certain vein or style based on who they want to be, unconsciously trying to blot out who they actually are. You want to escape yourself. - Author: Mary Karr
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#10. Was behind in every conceivable way. So the old attack dog started howling through my head as I'd - Author: Mary Karr
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#11. Writing the real self seldom seems original enough when you first happen on it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#12. If you let yourself tell those smaller anecdotes or stories, the overarching capital-S Story will eventually rise into view. - Author: Mary Karr
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#13. Nobody sounds good writing about your divorce, let's face it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#14. That's what's so gorgeous about humanity. It doesn't matter how bleak our daily lives are, we still fight for the light. I think that's our divinity. We lean into love, even in the most hideous circumstances. We manage to hope. - Author: Mary Karr
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#15. I was 40 years old before I became an overnight success, and I'd been publishing for 20 years. - Author: Mary Karr
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#16. Most great writers suffer and have no idea how good they are. Most bad writers are very confident. Be willing to be a child and be the Lilliputian in the world of Gulliver, the bat girl in Yankee Stadium. That's a more fruitful way to be. - Author: Mary Karr
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#17. Reading is socially accepted disassociation. You flip a switch and you're not there anymore. It's better than heroin. More effective and cheaper and legal. - Author: Mary Karr
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#18. His silence hadn't been helplessness - it hadn't even been love. It had been pity. - Author: Mary Karr
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#19. I threw away over 1,200 finished pages of my last memoir and broke the delete key on my keyboard changing my mind. If I had any balls at all, I'd make a brooch out of it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#20. KIDS IN DISTRESSED FAMILIES ARE GREAT repositories of silence and carry in their bodies whole arctic wastelands of words not to be uttered, stories not to be told. - Author: Mary Karr
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#21. The shreiking fight or the out-of-character insult endures forever, while the daily sweetness dissolves like sugar in water. - Author: Mary Karr
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#22. I get about five memoirs per week in my mailbox, and few of them inspire anything but a desire to pick up the channel changer. - Author: Mary Karr
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#23. A university is a city of ideas, and we're grateful you became citizens of our city. - Author: Mary Karr
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#24. I'm always astonished by the confidence my readers put in me. - Author: Mary Karr
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#25. Having devoted the first half of my life to the dark, I feel obliged to rever any pinpoint of light now. - Author: Mary Karr
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#26. The image pleases me enough : to slip from the body's tight container and into some luminous womb, gliding there without effort till the distant shapes glow brighter and more familiar, till all your beloveds hover before you, their lit arms held out in welcome. - Author: Mary Karr
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#27. It was dawning on me how uphill a poet's path was, and I confessed to her that if I had to be the choice between being happy or being a poet, I'd choose to be happy. - Author: Mary Karr
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#28. I do have a really good memory. I mean, like, I can remember all the phone numbers of everybody on the street I grew up on. - Author: Mary Karr
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#29. The truth is when I went to graduate school I would've said I was among the least talented of the students, I was certainly the least smart, or less educated. But I worked very hard. - Author: Mary Karr
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#30. Slurping these spirits is soul preparation, a warped communion, myself serving as god, priest, and congregation. - Author: Mary Karr
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#31. It was a feminist act, revealing secrets in order to free herself and the women of her clan from the silence and obscurity to which a misogyny thousands of years old would have relegated them. - Author: Mary Karr
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#32. When people suffer, their relationships usually suffer as well. Period. And we all suffer because, as the Buddha says, that's the nature of being human and wanting stuff we don't always get. - Author: Mary Karr
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#33. My idea of art is, you write something that makes people feel so strongly that they get some conviction about who they want to be or what they want to do. It's morally useful not in a political way, but it makes your heart bigger; it's emotionally and spiritually empowering. - Author: Mary Karr
Mary Karr Quotes #707150
#34. I exhale a highway of smoke and stare down it, then say, Each day has just been survival, just getting through, standing it.
Don't you see how savage that sounds? Like, that's the way men in prison yards think. You live in a rich suburb and teach literature. - Author: Mary Karr
Mary Karr Quotes #797220
#35. I think we fall in love and become adults and become citizens in a way by writing stories about ourselves. - Author: Mary Karr
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#36. When you do try to picture the boys who do ask you out, they're absolutely featureless, like old carvings eroded by centuries of rain and wind. - Author: Mary Karr
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#37. Most kids bent their heads onto their notebooks and tried to sleep. One boy gauged the quality of his day by sleeping on graph paper, then drawing a circle around the drool spot he'd made and comparing it for size and integrity to his drool spot from the day before. For - Author: Mary Karr
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#38. In my godless household, poems were the closest we came to sacred speech
the only prayers said. - Author: Mary Karr
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#39. To my mind, a small bit of catshit equals a catshit sandwich, unless I know where the catshit is and can eat around it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#40. Childhood was terrifying for me. A kid has no control. You're three feet tall, flat broke, unemployed, and illiterate. Terror snaps you awake. You pay keen attention. People can just pick you up and move you and put you down. - Author: Mary Karr
Mary Karr Quotes #854264
#41. Others can't stand to revise; instead they decide they're avant-garde, so everybody who doesn't like their work is unenlightened. (Note: being avant-garde is now ... well, garde.) - Author: Mary Karr
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#42. No writer can impose his own standards onto any other, nor claim to speak for the whole genre. - Author: Mary Karr
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#43. People who didn't live pre-Internet can't grasp how devoid of ideas life in my hometown was. The only bookstores sold Bibles the size of coffee tables and dashboard Virgin Marys that glowed in the dark. - Author: Mary Karr
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#44. The American religion-so far as there is one anymore-seems to be doubt. Whoever believes the least wins, because he'll never be found wrong. - Author: Mary Karr
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#45. I lock all my scaredness down in my stomach until the fear hardens into something I hardly notice. I myself harden into a person that I hardly notice. - Author: Mary Karr
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#46. I'm always terrified when I'm writing. - Author: Mary Karr
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#47. A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#48. For days on end, I avoid the Web, never logging in until about two or three, after I've written all morning. On a good week, I don't go online till after Wednesday, so four or five days might lapse without my checking e-mail. - Author: Mary Karr
Mary Karr Quotes #1015470
#49. I'd spent way more years worrying about how to look like a poet
buying black clothes, smearing on scarlet lipstick, languidly draping myself over thrift-store furniture
than I had learning how to assemble words in some discernible order. - Author: Mary Karr
Mary Karr Quotes #1027328
#50. On a piece of prose, you have to work at least six hours a day. I don't know how you can do that and teach and raise a kid and paint the house. - Author: Mary Karr
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#51. I was a philosophy major as an undergraduate, and I'm just an arrogant little thing. It's hard for me to admit that I can't understand something, let alone not be in charge of it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#52. Patti proposes that I pray to accept whatever reality I'm in, staying alert for practical solutions rather than issuing orders in prayer. It takes discipline to stop beseeching the heavens for wheelbarrows of gold - Author: Mary Karr
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#53. I find a great deal of comfort and care in my faith and prayer. I'd sooner do without air than prayer. - Author: Mary Karr
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#54. I always thought my family was so bizarre, so when people started coming up to me and saying, 'My family was exactly like yours,' I was completely knocked out. - Author: Mary Karr
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#55. There are all kinds of things God wants me to do that I'm very obstreperous about. - Author: Mary Karr
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#56. Sure the world breeds monsters, but kindness grows just as wild ... - Author: Mary Karr
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#57. Unless you're a doubter and a worrier, a nail-biter, an apologizer, a rethinker, then memoir may not be your playpen. That's the quality I've found most consistently in those life-story writers I've met. - Author: Mary Karr
Mary Karr Quotes #1148130
#58. I revise and revise and revise. Any editor of mine will tell you how crappy my early drafts are. Revisions are about clarifying and evoking feelings in the reader in the same way they were once evoked in me. - Author: Mary Karr
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#59. The audiobooks I buy are never first-time reads - only rereadings of books I know well that I find intoxicating. - Author: Mary Karr
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#60. The changes are coming fast and blind now, and in your skull sits an hourglass with a grain size hole through which numb seconds are sliding. - Author: Mary Karr
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#61. He was so proud that she had more going on north of her neck than her hairdo. - Author: Mary Karr
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#62. There are women succeeding beyond their wildest dreams because of their sobriety. - Author: Mary Karr
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#63. If dysfunction means that a family doesn't work, then every family ambles into some arena in which that happens, where relationships get strained or even break down entirely. We fail each other or disappoint each other. That goes for parents, siblings, kids, marriage partners - the whole enchilada. - Author: Mary Karr
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#64. What hurts so bad about youth isn't the actual butt whippings the world delivers. It's the stupid hopes playacting like certainties. - Author: Mary Karr
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#65. Our strange cynicism about truth as a possibility has permitted us to accept all manner of bullshit - Author: Mary Karr
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#66. Your heart, Mary Karr, he'd say. His pen touched my sternum, and it felt for all the world like the point of a dull spear as he said, Your heart knows what your head don't. Or won't. - Author: Mary Karr
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#67. The memoirist's job is not to add explosive whammies on every page, but to help the average person come in. - Author: Mary Karr
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#68. (Later, I'l learn that's the structure of an elegy: lament, consolation; bad news, followed by good news.) - Author: Mary Karr
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#69. It strikes me that whatever advantages there are to being a boy
getting to stay out late and having other people wash your clothes and bring you plates of stuff
get undercut by having to play football. - Author: Mary Karr
Mary Karr Quotes #1370965
#70. The fact that my house was Not Right metastasized into the notion that I myself was somehow Not Right, or that my survival in the world depended on my constant vigilance against various forms of Not-Rightness. - Author: Mary Karr
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#71. How much smaller the large places are once we're grown up, when we have car keys and credit cards. - Author: Mary Karr
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#72. Age about 30, I stopped looking up my books in bookstores. Paying attention to the marketplace isn't a healthy thing for me. - Author: Mary Karr
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#73. I couldn't have been more than six, but I was calling her an ignorant little bitch. Her momma stood on the porch step shaking her mop at me and saying there were snakes and lizards coming out of my mouth, to which I said i didn't give a shit. - Author: Mary Karr
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#74. Such a small, pure object a poem could be, made of nothing but air a tiny string of letters, maybe small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. But it could blow everybody's head off. - Author: Mary Karr
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#75. Nothing matters but the quality of the affection - in the end - that has carved the trace in the mind dove - Author: Mary Karr
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#76. Her parents roared around in the masks of monsters. Not - Author: Mary Karr
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#77. Being smart and rich are lucky, but being curious and compassionate will save your ass. Being curious and compassionate can take you out of your ego and edge your soul towards wonder. - Author: Mary Karr
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#78. Every poem probably has sixty drafts behind it. - Author: Mary Karr
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#79. I've never contended that I had a really horrible life. - Author: Mary Karr
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#80. A hawk reeled overhead with a rodent squirming in its beak, close enough so you could see the bird's black shiny eyes. - Author: Mary Karr
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#81. Poetry privileges music and is aesthetically more challenging. Prose privileges information and is emotionally more challenging. - Author: Mary Karr
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#82. In those days, I still enjoyed a child's desperate tendency to put sparkles on my whole tribe. - Author: Mary Karr
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#83. Your mother rolls her eyes at the cat lapping grapefruit juice, says, Everything that comes into this house is crazy - whether we choose them for that or they get that way, I don't know. - Author: Mary Karr
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#84. It turned out to be impossible for me to 'run away' in the sense other American teenagers did. Any movement at all was taken for progress in my family. - Author: Mary Karr
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#85. Having a great dad probably permitted me to pal around with guys in a way that some women don't. - Author: Mary Karr
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#86. We're not made to wallow in pleasure. Pleasure is joy's assassin. - Author: Mary Karr
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#87. Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else's suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others. - Author: Mary Karr
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#88. Every writer needs two selves - the generative self and the editor self. - Author: Mary Karr
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#89. For me, everything's too much and nothing's enough. - Author: Mary Karr
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#90. But I'm not ready to stop listening to the screwed-up inner voice that's been ordering me around for a lifetime. My head thinks it can kill me ... and go on living without me. - Author: Mary Karr
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#91. Joy, it is, which I've never known before, only pleasure or excitement. Joy is a different thing, because its focus exists outside the self-delight in something external, not satisfaction of some inner craving. - Author: Mary Karr
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#92. If your goal is to polish up a fake person you can sell to a public you perceive as dumb, the unexamined life will do perfectly well, thank you. - Author: Mary Karr
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#93. I don't think I look like the pope's favorite Catholic - at least not under close scrutiny. - Author: Mary Karr
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#94. Comfort makes fools of us that way, and a kid gets faith back quick. - Author: Mary Karr
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#95. The trick in that town was getting through a night at all without stalling in the sludge of your own thoughts. - Author: Mary Karr
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#96. Asking me how to write a memoir is a little like saying, "I really want to have sex, where do I start?" What one person fantasizes about would ruin the romance for another. - Author: Mary Karr
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#97. It's hard to be an articulate ghost. - Author: Mary Karr
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#98. Put your mind where your body is. One day at a time forces you to reckon with the instant you actually occupy, rather than living in fantasy la-la that never comes. - Author: Mary Karr
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#99. Ten years, she's dead, and I still find myself some mornings reaching for the phone to call her. She could no more be gone than gravity or the moon. - Author: Mary Karr
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#100. Most morally ominous: from the second you choose one event over another, you're shaping the past's meaning. - Author: Mary Karr
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