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9780670892747

Cherry: A Memoir

Karr, Mary

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9780670892747: Cherry: A Memoir

From Mary Karr, author of the bestselling The Liars' Club: the vibrant--often hilarious--story of her tumultuous teens and sexual coming-of-age

Mary Karr told the prizewinning tale of her hardscrabble Texas childhood with enough literary verve to spark a renaissance in memoir. The Liars' Club rode the top of The New York Times bestseller list for more than a year, and publications ranging from The New Yorker to People magazine picked it as one of the best books of the year. But it left people wondering: How'd that scrappy kid make it outa there? Cherry dares to tell that story. Karr picks up the trail and dashes off into her teen years with customary sass, only to run up against the paralyzing self-doubt of a girl in bloom.

In this long-awaited sequel, we see Karr ultimately trying to run from the thrills and terrors of her sexual awakening by butting up against authority in all its forms. She lands all too often in the principal's office and--in one instance--a jail cell. Looking for a lover or heart's companion who'll make her feel whole, she hooks up with an outrageous band of surfers and heads, wanna-be yogis and bona fide geniuses.

Karr's edgy, brilliant prose careens between hilarity and tragedy, and Cherry takes readers to a place never truly explored--deep inside a girl's stormy, ardent adolescence. 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.

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Review:

As a girl idling her way through long, toxically boring summer afternoons in Leechfield, Texas, Mary Karr dreamed up an unusual career for herself, "to write one-half poetry and one-half autobiography." She has since done both, and even when she's recounting a dirty joke, she can't help but employ a poet's precise and musical vision. Her first memoir, The Liar's Club, was as searing a chronicle of family life as can be imagined--tough, funny, and crackling with sorrow and wit. Against all odds, its sequel doesn't disappoint. Cherry finds the teenage Mary still marooned in a family whose behavior ranges from charmingly eccentric to dangerously crazy. (This, for instance, is the Karr version of a note from home: "Lecia Karr's leprosy kicked in, and I had to wrap her limbs in balm and hyssop. Please excuse her.") But here the focus has shifted to Mary herself, furiously engaged in pissing off authority at every turn: flouting the dress code, dropping acid, running from the cops, falling in love.

First love, you may say, heart sinking in chest: what more can possibly be said about such a subject? Actually, a great deal. To read Cherry is to realize how rare it is to find a teenage girl portrayed on her own terms. As a chronicle of female adolescence with all its longings, fantasies, cruelties, and fears, Karr's memoir goes darker and deeper than any book in which the protagonist doesn't end up dead. She turns a savage eye on her own hypocrisies and failings, and we like her all the more for them. We even end up fond of Leechfield, easily the toughest, smelliest, nastiest little burg ever to appear between the covers of a book--"a town too ugly not to love," her father called it in The Liar's Club. Growing up in such a place is necessarily about getting the hell out, but it's also about inventing a new identity with which to make your escape. That's the blessing Karr's wise friend Meredith bestows after a particularly harrowing (and harrowingly funny) acid trip: "I see big adventures for Mary. Big adventures, long roads, great oceans: same self." Cherry is the story of how Karr begins to acquire that self, however fumblingly--a big adventure for Mary, as it is for all of us, and one we never finish as long as we live. Perhaps that's the book's greatest pleasure of all: it hints there's more to come. --Mary Park

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Book Description Viking Adult, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: In her 1995 memoir The Liars' Club, a wickedly funny account of her apocalyptic childhood in East Texas, Mary Karr introduced us to her brawling, loving family: a bohemian mother married seven times, twice to her father; her wicked, wheelchair-bound grandmother, and her 'senatorial' sister Lecia, an authoritative ten-year old who, with Mary, tried to keep this explosive family together. The book struck a nerve when it was published, went on to win numerous awards, and became a huge bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. "Cherry", Mary's highly-anticipated follow-up memoir, covers her life up to the age of seventeen: through deep and abiding friendships, through early and touchingly hilarious experiments with sex, through the process of self-creation a young girl goes through when there's nobody around to show her the way. The book is divided into three parts: "Elementary's End", about the summer when Mary was between the fifth and sixth grade; "Midway", about her junior high school years,and "High", about her tumultuous high school years in the early 1970s. Mary's focus in this book is on her sexual coming of age, particularly th. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0670892742

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Book Description Viking, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Karr, Mary. CHERRY. NY: Viking, c2000. First printing. 276pp, 8vo, New hardbound in d/w,. Bookseller Inventory # 45507

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Book Description Book Condition: New. Ships From Canada. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 276 p. Audience: General/trade. From Booklist The child of The Liars' Club (1995) recaptures her teenage years, starting with her leaving home at 17 in 1972, taking off from her tiny Texas town with a handful of boys and a beat-up truck heading for Los Angeles. That prologue then spirals back to earlier days in high school. Mary is dazed and confused by her lethargy in the face of her friends' needs and by her own inchoate desires, usually drowned in cheap drugs and kisses. Her friends Clarice and Meredith have heft and breadth on these pages, more so than the boys who wander through, but the true landscape is not that of friendship or lust or even Texas; it's the landscape of Mary's own thoughts. The plodding dullness of adolescent existence is punctuated by slivers and flashes of blinding illumination--indeed, Karr uses metaphors of light like carving knives. The fevered need of teens to do. Bookseller Inventory # 8661231870

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