8:00pm (Reception, 6:30-7:30pm)
in conversation with Mary Karr
discussing her memoir in letters
Dear Mr. You
Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
$20 General Admission
$43 Includes Reserved Section Seating, Parker’s memoir
$65 Includes Reserved Section seats for two, Parker’s memoir
$95 Includes Reserved Section seats, Pre-Reception
and 2 books (Parker’s and Karr’s)
Mary Louise Parker is a Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winning actress, starring in Weeds, Angels in America, and Showtime’s forthcoming series Lit, in which she plays Mary Karr. Her writing has appeared in Esquire, The Riveter, Bust, and The Bullet.
Written as a series of letters to the men — real and hypothetical — who have made significant impact on her life, Dear Mr. You, is as unconventional in its form as in its telling. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers to an homage to a firefighter she encountered to a heartfelt communication with the uncle of the infant daughter she adopted, and the future man who will love that daughter. Parker, among others, also writes to a coworker in a loincloth at her co-op; to a taxi driver she screamed at during a dark period and to the orderly assigned to her after the birth of her son.
Mary Karr is the author of the upcoming, The Art of Memoir, and three award-winning, bestselling memoirs: The Liars’ Club, Cherry, and Lit. A Guggenheim Fellow in poetry, Karr has won Pushcart Prizes for both verse and essays. Other grants include the Whiting Writer’s Award, PEN’s Martha Albrand Award, and Radcliffe’s Bunting Fellowship. The Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University, she is currently adapting her books for a Showtime series based on her life.
In 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.
Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr’s own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told— and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate.