"Astonishing...One of the most dazzling and moving memoirs to come along in years" - "New York Times". Mary Karr, a prize-winning poet and critic, grew up in a swampy East Texas refinery town in a volatile, defiantly loving family. In this keen and funny memoir, she looks back at a painter mother, seven times married, whose outlaw spirit could tip over in psychosis; a fist-swinging father who spun tales with his cronies at the Liars' Club; and a neighbourhood rape when she eight. Karr paints her terrific family of liars and drunks with a raw authenticity stripped of self-pity. At times harrowing, her story is redeemed by warmth, intelligence and finelyspun, ardent prose. "Adazzling, devasting memoir...She paints an unsparing portrait of her struggle through a fractured childhood. Recounting one apocalyptic event after another, Karr's voice never falters or rings false" - "Vogue". "The facts are harrowing, yet their narration - which crackles with wry humour, affection and defiance - is not...A funny, moving, astonishing book" - "Spectator". "Any evocation of a childhood that achieves a genuinely Proustian quality, but with short sentences and more laughs, has to be read...a breathtakingly shrewd and loving memoir" - "Independent".
In this funny, razor-edged memoir, Mary Karr, a prize-winning poet and critic, looks back at her upbringing in a swampy East Texas refinery town with a volatile, defiantly loving family. She recalls her painter mother, seven times married, whose outlaw spirit could tip into psychosis; a fist-swinging father who spun tales with his cronies--dubbed the Liars' Club; and a neighborhood rape when she was eight. An inheritance was squandered, endless bottles emptied, and guns leveled at the deserving and undeserving. With a raw authenticity stripped of self-pity and a poet's eye for the lyrical detail, Karr shows us a "terrific family of liars and drunks ... redeemed by a slow unearthing of truth."