November 8, 2009 |
Lit A Memoir Mary Karr Harper: 390 pp., $25.99 "Any way I tell this story is a lie," reads the first line of "Lit" by poet and memoirist Mary Karr. It's an ironic beginning for a writer who rose to fame on "The Liars' Club," a book recounting her turbulent childhood -- the title taken from the group of guys her roughneck father hung out with, shooting pool and telling tall tales in their East Texas town. Karr doesn't mean her "lie" in that tall-tale sense, nor in the James Frey way of intended deception.
January 5, 1997
Warren Olney, radio talk show host: "The Liar's Club" by Mary Karr (Viking). "It's appalling and hysterically funny at the same time, a stark reporting of the ghastly facts of a childhood almost inexpressibly shocking, but which, in the end, in Karr's telling, is immensely life-affirming and forgiving." * Doug Dutton, bookseller: "Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance" by Lisa Jardine (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday). "There's nothing better than a well-written history.
April 18, 2013 |
Fiction writers don't often get credit for their influence on the world -- it is often invisible and unheralded. But among those on Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, released Thursday, were two surprising names: short story maven George Saunders and novelist Hilary Mantel. They keep company with "Leaders," (President Obama, Wayne LaPierre, Kim Jong Un), "Titans" (Jay-Z, LeBron James, Elon Musk) and "Icons" (Malala Yousafzai, Lena Dunham, Gabrielle Giffords)
May 26, 2006 |
FOR the last century, serious poetry has been largely secular. Literary types see religion as something literature has gotten over. Poets who fail to vanquish any Christian spirituality beyond what is quaint are usually condemned to "inspirational poetry," except poor old T.S. Eliot. But it's his angst that people take seriously, not his prayer. Now, however, two major American poets have declared themselves on the side of God.
January 5, 1997 |
It's question time after a talk by memoirist Mary Karr at the Huntington Library, and a woman in the audience wants to tell a story. It happened, the woman says, when her book club discussed sections of Karr's book, "The Liars' Club," in which she describes being raped at 7 by a neighborhood boy and later being forced to have oral sex with a baby sitter. Every single woman in the group confessed to having suffered physical or sexual abuse as children. "Look at this face," one member said.