The Liars' Club brought to vivid, indelible life Mary Karr's hardscrabble Texas childhood. Cherry, her account of her adolescence, "continued to set the literary standard for making the personal universal" (Entertainment Weekly). Now Lit follows the self-professed blackbelt sinner's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness and to her astonishing resurrection.
Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting blueblood 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," with an oddball tribe of gurus and saviors, awakens her to the possibility of joy and leads her to an unlikely faith. Not since Saint Augustine cried, "Give me chastity, Lord but not yet!" has a conversion story rung with such dark hilarity.
Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr's relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up as only Mary Karr can tell it.
In 1995, a poet by the name of Mary Karr helped change the landscape of publishing, making memoir the mountain every writer wanted to climb, because from its heights one could survey literary fame and sizable royalty checks. This she did with The Liars’ Club, the energetically written -- if at times suspiciously too-vividly recalled -- personal history of growing up in a Texas backwater with a dizzy nutcase of a mother who liked to hit the sauce (and occasionally other things) a bit hard. The author’s recipe of colorful episodes of destructive behavior retold in down-homey locutions, childish pain revisited from a distance that allows for reader-friendly humor, was so winning it inspired many others to join the Sin Sweepstakes. Still, no one rules the genre of misconduct autobiography quite like Mary Karr.