Cover image for All that you leave behind : a memoir
Title:
All that you leave behind : a memoir
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, [2019]

©2019
ISBN:
9780399179716
Physical Description:
240 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
The blue house -- Rain check -- The night in question -- The ghost in you -- It all starts somewhere -- The other woman -- Rites of passage -- How (not) to intern -- Something new -- Holiday party advice -- Far from the tree -- The house of many felled trees -- Stories are there for the telling -- Tyranny of self -- Choose wisely -- The criers get nothing -- Sometimes you get both barrels -- Gut check -- Liability -- Ninety days -- Sos -- Jelly beans -- The experiment -- The water has it now -- The wake -- His second act -- Traces -- The upside of getting fired -- Chatter -- The castle without its El Rey -- If it's not getting better, consider the alternative -- Resentments -- Sad girl's guide -- A glacier first melts at the edges -- Things I learned from David Carr -- Books I read while writing this book : a list.
Abstract:
"A celebrated journalist, bestselling author, and recovering addict, David Carr was in the prime of his career when he collapsed in the newsroom of The New York Times in 2015. Shattered by his death, his daughter Erin Lee Carr, an up-and-coming documentary filmmaker at age twenty-seven, began combing through the entirety of their shared correspondence--1,936 items in total. What started as an exercise in grief quickly grew into an active investigation: Did her father's writings contain the answers to the questions of how to move forward in life and work without your biggest champion by your side? How could she fill the space left behind by a man who had come to embody journalistic integrity, rigor, and hard reporting, whose mentorship meant everything not just to her, but to the many who served alongside him? In All That You Leave Behind, David Carr's legacy is a lens through which Erin comes to understand her own workplace missteps, existential crises, relationship fails, and toxic relationship with alcohol. Featuring photographs and emails from the author's personal collection, this coming-of-age memoir unpacks the complex relationship between a daughter and her father, their mutual addictions and challenges with sobriety, and the powerful sense of work and family that comes to define them"-- Provided by publisher.
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Book 362.298092 CARR 1 .SOURCE. MARION BROWN MEMORIAL
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Summary

Summary

Dad- What will set you apart is not talent but will and a certain kind of humility. A willingness to let the world show you things that you play back as you grow as an artist. Talent is cheap.
Me- ok i will ponder these things. I am a carr.
Dad- That should matter quite a bit, actually not the name but the guts of what that name means.

A celebrated journalist, bestselling author ( The Night of the Gun ), and recovering addict, David Carr was in the prime of his career when he suffered a fatal collapse in the newsroom of The New York Times in 2015. Shattered by his death, his daughter Erin Lee Carr, an up-and-coming documentary filmmaker at age twenty-seven, began combing through the entirety of their shared correspondence-1,936 items in total-in search of comfort and support.

What started as an exercise in grief quickly grew into an active investigation- Did her father's writings contain the answers to the questions of how to move forward in life and work without her biggest champion by her side? How could she fill the space left behind by a man who had come to embody journalistic integrity, rigor, and hard reporting, whose mentorship meant everything not just to her but to the many who served alongside him?

All That You Leave Behind is a poignant coming-of-age story that offers a raw and honest glimpse into the multilayered relationshipbetween a daughter and a father. Through this lens, Erin comes to understand her own workplace missteps, existential crises, and relationship fails. While daughter and father bond over their mutual addictions and challenges with sobriety, it is their powerful sense of work and family that comes to ultimately define them.

This unique combination of Erin Lee Carr's earnest prose and her father's meaningful words offers a compelling read that shows us what it means to be vulnerable and lost, supported and found. It is a window into love, with all of its fierceness and frustrations.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Documentary filmmaker Carr addresses her addiction to alcohol and her father's influence over her in this bold and incisive memoir. The daughter of the late New York Times journalist David Carr (1956-2015), Erin and her twin sister Meagan were born three months early to parents addicted to cocaine. The weight of parenthood forced their father to straighten himself out, while the girls' mother disappeared from their lives. Erin began drinking in high school, and, like her father, she drifted in and out of AA meetings. But after her father, who was battling lung cancer, collapsed on the New York Times newsroom floor and died at age 58, Erin realized that life is precious, and she clung to his used reporter's notebooks and continued to send her father daily text messages for advice. Erin writes honestly about her relationship with her father ("In order for our relationship to work, I had to learn to not take his darker moments personally") as she delivers a clear-eyed view into multigenerational substance abuse and simultaneously celebrates the redemption of a father's love. Readers can't help but get caught up in Erin's tragic and ultimately transformative story. Agent: Meg Thompson, Thompson Literary. (Apr.) Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated the author's sister started drinking in high school. © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Life with father isn't easynot when father is the one-time drug addict David Carr, noted journalist and author of the searing memoir Night of the Gun (2008).Documentary filmmaker Carr delivers an affecting memoir of growing up under decidedly difficult circumstancese.g., being left in a freezing car in her snowsuit while her father checked into a crack den to get high. But that's just part of it. Carr the elder turned his life around when it dawned on him that two unhealthy parents were not good for two budding daughters, even if he sublimated his addictions with too many cigarettes, too much coffee, and too much work in the quest for the Pulitzer Prize that, as a reporter and critic for the New York Times, always eluded him. The combination, plus the years of hard living, killed him: "58," writes the author. "Who dies that young? No one had ever prepared me for his dying that young." True, but he did prepare his daughter well for life as a writer, giving her the same lessons he gave to his many university students about being honest with oneself and working the phones rather than relying on email. "What will set you apart," he wrote, "is not talent but will and a certain kind of humility, a willingness to let the world show you things that you play back as you grow as an artist. Talent is cheap." Carr is relentless in describing the chemical failings that the world revealed to her, especially in reliance on alcohol, which she's quit. She's also very good in distilling the lessons her father taught her without being sentimental: "When it comes time to pimp your own stuff, you have credibility" is vintage Carr, in all its tough-guy-ism, and ought to inspire other young would-be journalists and writers as they pay their dues.A moving and unflinching paean to a man who died at the top of his game: "Sort of a mic drop, really." Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

When journalist David Carr dies suddenly at 58, he leaves behind twin daughters in their early twenties. One, the author, a budding documentary producer, lost both a beloved parent and a mentor. In this poignant memoir, Carr goes back over her life searching for clues to understand their relationship, their mutual demons, and their artistic visions. She shares excerpts from her father's many texts, emails, letters, and interactions, allowing readers to get a feel for the talented journalist's voice and thoughts. Entering the media world in her father's shadow is a mixed blessing, allowing her access to jobs even as she's judged by his standards. Their relationship has moments of complete understanding and moments of painful disagreement. He had defeated his drug and alcohol cravings; she was still unwilling to admit to her addictions. In the months that followed her father's death, Carr had to come to terms with her grief and anger and find a way to honor his memory. Writing her moving memoir accomplishes both and serves as a guide for others who grieve.--Candace Smith Copyright 2019 Booklist


Excerpts

Excerpts

1 The Blue House When I think back to my early childhood home in Minneapolis, my brain conjures up a dim outline of a blue house on Pillsbury Avenue. While it is hard to remember the exact details of the house, the memories of its inhabitants come quite easily. I can picture my hands on the furniture, always trying to spread my mess out onto our sparse belongings. I see my dad putting one of our purple tutus on his head and declaring to no one in particular, "I am TUTU MONSTER," as he scoops my sister and me up in his arms while we shriek and try to scramble out of his grasp, giggling the whole time. He had a gift for creating worlds. Our parents shape and create our reality. For a long time we have no sense outside of their worldview. A while back I spent some serious time digitizing hundreds of decades-old photos tucked away in ancient red photo albums so that I could pull them up in a moment's notice. The images tell a familiar tale. Two little girls encased in baby buckets, looking up at the bad hair and fashions of the 1980s. Sometimes we are smiling in the photos. More often, though, we are not. We were born without so much as a wisp of hair, so naturally my grandma JoJo took to scotch-taping bows on our heads. She needed people to know that we were baby girls, not boys. My mother is absent from these photos. It's just a flurry of aunts and uncles and Mountain Dew cans. My arms are chubby, and I am often reaching out for more. There is no baby book that recounts my first words or steps, but when I asked my dad in my teendom what my first utterance was, you better bet he said DaDa. Meagan is so tiny in these early images, her body so small it looks like she could evaporate. Our nicknames mimic our stature; as luck would have it, I am known as Beefaroni and she, Noodles. I am often captured with a bottle in hand, and in a couple of photos, trying to grab the bottle from Meagan's hands. There's one photo of my dad in these albums that I studied carefully. It's not like the others. He is in some sort of rec room, and he is standing up at a podium. He looks like he is clocking in around three hundred pounds, and he has a beard. Not exactly in fighting shape. Other men fill the room. He looks focused and nervous, photographed in midsentence. I called Uncle Joe. He is warm and charismatic with a bald head and small circular glasses. I'd been remiss in calling. Life had gotten busy. "Do you remember this photo?" I asked, after describing it to him. "What was he like then?" Joe paused to think about it. I could tell that he was placating me. This was the second time in ten years he'd had to revisit a past that was very dark for his entire family. My dad spent some serious time excavating the facts of his life for his own memoir, The Night of the Gun. "Well, your dad was a mystery to us. He tried his hand at treatment on numerous occasions, and it just never seemed to stick. We knew--and I think he knew--that this time had to be different. Must have been at a meeting." We were the stakes. These little babies needed a parent, and my mother was not going to magically reappear from Texas or Mexico or wherever she was at that time. We needed him. "But didn't that intensify the pressure?" I asked. "Well, didn't your dad always thrive under pressure?" Why, yes, he did. As Meagan and I age in the photos, our hair begins to grow and we go from looking like little old men to looking like little girls. Starting around age four, a soft white-and-pink checkered baby blanket starts appearing next to me, as if it were surgically attached. As I sought out other archival material from this time, I came across his column in the Family Times, a local paper that had given him some space to muse about life as a single dad. The column was aptly titled "Because I Said So." In one installment, he told of how he'd turned away for a second to look for my ever-quiet sister, and before he knew it I had gotten myself into our junker of a car and started backing out of the driveway. The minor heart attacks that surround the life of a young parent astound me. In those early days in Minnesota we were poor. We needed government assistance just to get by--something I have no shame about and am frankly grateful existed at the time. You can tell our circumstances from the backgrounds in the photos, but you definitely wouldn't know it to look at Meagan or me. Grandma JoJo was a hawk at rummage sales and would find matching outfits (plus bonnets, no less) for us to wear for family photo ops. My dad, on the other hand, looks pretty ragged. I can see in his face that the financial fear was alive and well. He, alone, was responsible for these two little beings. Sure, his family could help here and there, but they needed their money to stay in their own pockets. In the photos, he's always looking at us--his daughters. He isn't mugging for the camera, like he did in his early party-boy days. Instead, he is watchful, careful, and looks exhausted as hell. Someone caught him cracking a smile in one photo. We are at our grandparents' and Meagan and I are standing on top of the picnic table. There are garbage bags that hold something bulky underneath. We are told to open the bag and OH MY GOD we each have our very own tricycle to ride! The next photo is me on my trike, in my Easter bonnet, grinning from ear to ear. Dad watches us with parental glee but also relief: Good, something to keep them busy. Excerpted from All That You Leave Behind: A Memoir by Erin Lee Carr All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. ix
1 The Blue Housep. 3
2 Rain Checkp. 12
3 The Night in Questionp. 16
4 The Ghost in Youp. 23
5 It All Starts Somewherep. 29
6 The Other Womanp. 38
7 Rites of Passagep. 41
8 How (Not) to Internp. 46
9 Something Newp. 58
10 Holiday Party Advicep. 66
11 Far from the Treep. 74
12 The House of Many Felled Treesp. 81
13 Stories Are There for the Tellingp. 87
14 Tyranny of Selfp. 94
15 Choose Wiselyp. 98
16 The Criers Get Nothingp. 107
17 Sometimes You Get Both Barrelsp. 118
18 Gut Checkp. 125
19 Liabilityp. 133
20 Ninety Daysp. 138
21 SOSp. 143
22 Jelly Beansp. 151
23 The Experimentp. 155
24 The Water Has It Nowp. 163
25 The Wakep. 168
26 His Second Actp. 185
27 Tracesp. 193
28 The Upside of Getting Firedp. 198
29 Chatterp. 201
30 The Castle Without Its El Keyp. 205
31 If It's Not Getting Better, Consider the Alternativep. 209
32 Resentmentsp. 214
33 Sad Girl's Guidep. 220
34 A Glacier First Melts at the Edgesp. 229
Things I Learned from David Carr: A Listp. 235
Books I Read While Writing This Bookp. 237
Acknowledgmentsp. 239