A powerfully funny, razor's-edge tale of a fractured childhood, Mary Karr's biography looks back through a child's eyes to sort through dark household secrets. She witnesses an inheritance squandered, endless bottles emptied, and guns leveled at both the deserving and the undeserving. In a voice stripped of self-pity and charged with brilliant energy, she introduces us to a family ravaged by lies and alcoholism, yet redeemed by the revelation of truth. Karr, a prize-winning poet, uses her linguistic skills and sharp personal insights to make The Liar's Club an utterly mesmerizing memoir.
©1995 Viking/Penguin; 1965, 1994 John Dixon (P)16 9; 1995 Penguin Books Ltd
Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr's The Liars' Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash best sellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well. For 30 years, Karr has also taught the form, winning teaching prizes at Syracuse. (The writing program there produced such acclaimed authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas.) 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. Joining such classics as Stephen King's On Writing and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, The Art of Memoir is an elegant and accessible exploration of one of today's most popular literary forms - a tour de force from an accomplished master pulling back the curtain on her craft. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2015 Mary Karr (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
Lit follows Mary Karr's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness - and her astonishing resurrection. Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting poet produces a son they adore. But she can't outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in "The Mental Marriott" awakens her to the possibility of joy, and leads her to an unlikely faith. Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. It is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up - as only Mary Karr can tell it.
©2009 Mary Karr (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
From Mary Karr, author of the best selling The Liar's Club, comes the gorgeously written, often hilarious story of her tumultuous teens and sexual coming-of-age. In edgy, brilliant prose, Cherry takes listeners to a place never explored with such candor. Parts will leave you gasping with laughter. But its soaring close proves that from even the smokiest beginnings a solid self can form, one capable of facing down all manner of monsters.
©2000 Mary Karr (P)2000 Random House, Inc.