Cherry A memoir

Mary Karr

Book - 2000

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BIOGRAPHY/Karr, Mary
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2nd Floor BIOGRAPHY/Karr, Mary Due Jun 2, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : Viking 2000.
Language
English
Physical Description
276 p.
ISBN
0670892742
Main Author
Mary Karr (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

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 things that are bad for them, over and over, lies twinned at the heart of this fiercely recalled memoir, alongside a slippery, cloudy, thick delineation of desire. Few people have written so luxuriantly about kissing as Karr, or what kissing could be and do all by itself. She allows us glimpses of what happened later to these people, in small doses, just enough to remind us what memory and time can do.--GraceAnne A. DeCandido YA/L: For mature teens, a look into the `60s with honesty, intensity, and sorrow. GAD. Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Readers seduced by Karr's canny memoir of a childhood spent under the spell of a volatile, defiantly loving family in The Liar's Club can look forward to more exquisite writing in this sequel focusing on her adolescence in a dusty Texas town. Karr struggles as the talented child of a sullen, dismissive father and an ethereal, unstable mother who studies art and disappears from time to time, functioning more as an ally than as a mother to young Mary, whom she encourages to be sexually active. When Mary is locked up in a drug raid, her mother rescues her by charming the judge, an old admirer. Writing in the second person, Karr recounts with disarming immediacy her tenuous childhood friendships, her rocky move into adolescence and sexual experimentation (she describes teenage kisses as "delicate as origami in their folds and bendings"); her troubles with school authority and her early escape into books and language. In one funny and poignant episode, Mary despairs over her dysfunctional family life in a dull town and, influenced by the literature she is reading, makes a halfhearted attempt at suicide, before she resolves to live "as long as there are plums to eat and somebody anybody who gives enough of a damn to haul them for you." Moving effortlessly from breathtaking to heart stabbing to laugh out loud raucous, the precision and sheer beauty of Karr's writing remains astounding. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The author of The Liars' Club shares a candid, funny look at her own sexual maturity growing up in a Texas town, in a lively coming-of-age memoir. 125,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The author shares a candid look at her own sexual maturity growing up in a Texas town.