New York Times best-selling author and memoirist Mary Karr will present a candid account of her writing and personal battle with alcohol — as a college student, wife and mother — at 7 p.m., Tuesday in the Performing Arts Center of Georgia Southern. The event is free and open to the public.
Karr will share excerpts from her latest best-selling memoir, “Lit,” which chronicles her own experiences with addiction, recovery, relapse, faith and the 20-year road to sobriety. Karr said her presentation, “The Decline and Fall of a Black-Belt Drinker: What College Students Need to Know About Alcoholism,” will entertain, yet challenge listeners to re-evaluate their life goals and consider whether their drinking and other drug habits will help or hinder them in achieving their dreams.
“Mary Karr writes eloquently and speaks candidly about growing up in the South with alcoholic parents and becoming an alcoholic mother in spite of her best intentions otherwise,” said Laura Milner, who serves on Georgia Southern’s Alcohol Education Task Force.
Milner — who teaches writing courses in relation to healing and addiction for Georgia Southern’s Department of Writing and Linguistics — said Karr is a dynamic contemporary writer and speaker who can provide powerful insight on alcoholism.
"So many young people throughout the U.S. are impacted directly or indirectly by alcohol and other drugs through their own use or that of their family, friends, and/or peers. Karr's presentation and roundtable discussions will bring an increased focus on this topic,” Milner said. “While many Georgia Southern students make wise decisions about their substance use/abuse, recent data shows universities benefit from an increased focus on development of more effective substance use/abuse programs, in and out of the classroom. Karr’s presentation is a great step towards addressing this issue.”
“Lit” and Karr's other memoirs, “Cherry and The Liars' Club,” each earned New York Times Best Seller designation. Her poems and essays have won Pushcart Prizes and have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and other prestigious journals. A Texas native, Karr received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry in 2004 and teaches literature at Syracuse University.
Karr’s appearance Monday is co-sponsored by the Campus Life Enrichment Committee, Department of Writing and Linguistics, Psychology Department, Health Services, Office of Alcohol and Other Drugs and the Center for Addiction Recovery at Georgia Southern.