Best Selling Books by Mary Karr

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Cherry

release date: Sep 01, 2001
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Cherry
From Mary Karr comes this gorgeously written, often hilarious story of her tumultuous teens and sexual coming-of-age. Picking up where the bestselling The Liars' Club left off, Karr dashes down the trail of her teen years with customary sass, only to run up against the paralyzing self-doubt of a girl in bloom. Fleeing the thrills and terrors of adolescence, she clashes against authority in all its forms and hooks up with an unforgettable band of heads and bona-fide geniuses. Parts of Cherry will leave you gasping with laughter. Karr assembles a self from the smokiest beginnings, delivering a long-awaited sequel that is both "bawdy and wise" (San Francisco Chronicle).

The Devil's Tour

release date: Jan 01, 1993
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Viper Rum

release date: Jan 01, 1998
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Viper Rum
A collection of poems exploring the theme of death, the inevitable storm that comes to the soul

The Liars' Club

release date: Jan 01, 1996
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The Liars' Club
The author, a poet, recounts her difficult childhood growing up in a Texas oil town

The Art of Memoir

release date: Sep 15, 2015
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The Art of Memoir
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 bestsellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well. For thirty 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.

Lit

release date: Nov 03, 2009
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Lit
Mary Karr’s bestselling, unforgettable sequel to her beloved memoirs The Liars’ Club and Cherry—and one of the most critically acclaimed books of the year—Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. The Boston Globe calls Lit a book that “reminds us not only how compelling personal stories can be, but how, in the hands of a master, they can transmute into the highest art." The New York Times Book Review calls it “a master class on the art of the memoir” in its Top 10 Books of 2009 Citation. Michiko Kakutani calls it “a book that lassos you, hogties your emotions and won’t let you go” in her New York Times review. And Susan Cheever states, simply, that Lit is “the best book about being a woman in America I have read in years." In addition to the New York Times, Lit was named a Best Book of 2009 by the New Yorker (Reviewer Favorite), Entertainment Weekly (Top 10), Time (Top 10), the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, Slate, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Seattle Times.

Tropic of Squalor

release date: May 08, 2018
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Tropic of Squalor
A new volume of poetry from the New York Times bestselling and esteemed author of The Liar’s Club and Lit. Long before she earned accolades for her genre-defining memoirs, Mary Karr was winning poetry prizes. Now the beloved author returns with a collection of bracing poems as visceral and deeply felt and hilarious as her memoirs. In Tropic of Squalor, Karr dares to address the numinous—that mystery some of us hope towards in secret, or maybe dare to pray to. The "squalor" of meaninglessness that every thoughtful person wrestles with sits at the core of human suffering, and Karr renders it with power—illness, death, love’s agonized disappointments. Her brazen verse calls us out of our psychic swamplands and into that hard-won awareness of the divine hiding in the small moments that make us human. In a single poem she can generate tears, horror, empathy, laughter, and peace. She never preaches. But whether you’re an adamant atheist, a pilgrim, or skeptically curious, these poems will urge you to find an inner light in the most baffling hours of darkness.

Abacus

release date: Feb 01, 2007
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Abacus
Mary Karr's four volumes of poetry are Sinner's Welcome (published by HarperCollins in 2006), Viper Rum, The Devil's Tour, and Abacus. She has received The White Writer's Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Radcliffe Bunting Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her work appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Poetry. Her first memoir, The Liars Club (Penguin, 1995), received the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for best first non-fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It stayed on The New York Times bestseller list for more than a year and was named "Best Book of 1995" by more than thirty newspapers and magazines. The sequel, Cherry, (Viking, 2000) was excerpted in The New Yorker and appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, and BookSense. It was named a Notable Book in The New York Times. She is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University and lives in Syracuse and New York City.

Now Go Out There

release date: Apr 05, 2016
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Now Go Out There
A celebration of curiosity, compassion, and the surprising power of fear, based on the New York Times bestselling author and renowned professor’s 2015 commencement address at Syracuse University. “Being smart and rich are lucky, but being curious & compassionate will save your ass.” Every year there are one or two commencement speeches that strike a chord with audiences far greater than the student bodies for which they are intended. In 2015 Mary Karr’s speech to the graduating class of Syracuse University caught fire, hailed across the Internet as one of the most memorable in recent years, and lighting up the Twittersphere. In Now Go Out There, Karr explains why having your heart broken is just as—if not more—important than falling in love; why getting what you want often scares you more than not getting it; how those experiences that appear to be the worst cannot be so easily categorized; and how to cope with the setbacks that inevitably befall all of us. “Don’t make the mistake of comparing your twisted up insides to other people’s blow-dried outsides,” she cautions. “Even the most privileged person in this stadium suffers the torments of the damned just going about the business of being human.” An ideal—and beautifully designed—gift for a graduate or for anyone looking for some down-to-earth life advice, Now Go Out There is destined to become a classic.

Lit CD

release date: Feb 16, 2010
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Lit CD
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.
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