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  • Debbie Masner

All That You Leave Behind: A memoir by Erin Lee Carr

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Quit Lit Review

All That You Leave Behind is about the meaningful relationship between father and daughter. It is also a tale of loss- losing a beloved dad and letting go of an addiction. In the world of quit lit there are some books that are more quit than lit. This book is more lit, as in literature. All That You Leave Behind is so truthfully and lovingly written.

I picked this book up not knowing anything about it having seen it on a list of quit lit recommendation. I did not realize it was written by the daughter of a memoir I read years ago about a father giving up alcohol and drugs for his daughters. Erin Lee Carr’s father, David Carr (a New York Times journalist) wrote The Night of the Gun in 2008. It was a brutal truth bomb about addiction and redemption. Tragically David Carr passed away in 2015.

The Carr’s share many traits, one is addiction, but another is great storytelling. In her book Erin chronicles her relationship with her dad and her own struggles with addiction. Erin and her dad have a close bond stitched together through words. David Carr’s love language is clearly words of affirmation. (As a side note, this book made me reflect on my relationship with my dad and his love language which is definitely acts of service. Should he pass I would have little in the way of documents to remember him by. I may have a fixed garbage disposal and a working sliding door though.) Erin has what must be a whole library of words from her dad in the form of emails, texts, and chats. She is so fortunate to have those words to look back on when needed. He clearly was her biggest fan but also was not afraid to pull out both barrels when needed. The book is full of words of wisdom.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a beautifully written memoir about grief, love, and addiction.

About the Author

Erin Lee Carr is a director, producer, and writer based in New York City. Named one of the “30 Under 30” most influential people in media by Forbes, Carr most recently directed At the Heart of Gold, about the USA Gymnastics scandal, and I Love You: Now Die, about the Michelle Carter murder-by-texting trial, both for HBO. She also directed “Drug Short,” an episode of Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Dirty Money. She lives in New York City, where she enjoys petting dogs on the street. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

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