Mary Karr

Mary Karr

Mary Karr (1955– ) is an American poet and memoirist. She received attention for her first memoir The Liars’ Club in 1995, which she followed up with two more memoirs, Cherry (2000) and Lit (2009).

Viper Rum

Poetry by Mary Karr

Viper Rum is Mary Karr’s first book since The Liars’ Club, which helped to spark a renaissance in memoir. That breathtaking bestseller about her Texas childhood rode The New York Times bestseller list for more than sixty weeks. It was hailed by The Washington Post as “the essential American story, a beauty.” Critic James Atlas likened her to Faulkner. Molly Ivins remarked in The Nation, “[The Liars’ Club] is so good I thought about sending it out for a second opinion… To have a poet’s precision of language and a poet’s insight into people applied to one of the roughest, toughest, ugliest places in America is an astonishing gift.…
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The Devil’s Tour

Poetry by Mary Karr

In her celebrated essay “Against Decoration,” published in Parnassus, Mary Karr took aim against the verbal ornaments that too often pass for poetry these days and their attendant justifications: deconstruction and a “new formalism” that elevates form as an end in itself. Her own poems, she says, are “humanist poems,” written for everyday readers rather than an exclusive audience––poems that do not require an academic explication in order to be understood.…
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< Mary de Rachewiltz Margaret Randall >