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June 13, 2005

Real Life Becomes a Rumor

by Ron Hogan

It's been ten years since Mary Karr wrote The Liars' Club, which conventional wisdom tells us jumpstarted the memoir in the modern marketplace. Tonight she'll be sharing a stage (well, more like a row of chairs at the Barnes & Noble across the street from Lincoln Center) with one of her writing students, Koren Zailckas, who has come into praise for her memoir, Smashed, and Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (and, like Karr, an accomplished poet). The subject? "Truth and Life in Memoir."

Speaking of memoirists onstage, stand-up comedian Chelsea Handler has brought her act to New York City, performing a routine which, I'm told, draws upon some of the experiences recounted in My Horizontal Life, a "collection of one-night stands." I almost got to see her at a launch party last week at Club Monaco, except that review deadlines kept me home--maybe I can catch up to her at Henri Brendel's tomorrow. (Between those two pit stops and an upcoming gig at a hair salon, I'm wondering if this is a book tour or a transcontinental shopping spree...)

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