The Liars’ Club

In this funny, hard-edged memoir, Mary Karr (, a prize-winning poet and critic, looks back at her upbringing. The setting is a swampy East Texas refinery town¬†in a volatile, defiantly loving family. She recalls her painter mother, seven times married, whose outlaw spirit could tip into psychosis. There is¬†her¬†violent father who spins tales with his cronies (dubbed the Liars’ Club). There is a neighbourhood rape when she¬†is eight. There is an inheritance squandered, endless bottles of booze¬†drained, and guns¬†pointed at the deserving and undeserving.¬† With a raw authenticity stripped of self-pity and a poet’s eye for lyrical detail, Karr shows us a “terrific family of liars and drunks … redeemed by a slow unearthing of truth.” If reading is about comparing and contrasting your life with those of others, this will deliver excellent contextual value. I commend it.

Enquire at your local library or consult  for full bibliographic detail.


353 pages in Penguin

First published 31 May 2005

ISBN 978-0143035749


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Mary Karr





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