The Liars' Club

The Liars' Club : A Memoir

3.92 (47,947 ratings by Goodreads)
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The New York Times bestselling, hilarious tale of Mary Karr's hardscrabble Texas childhood that calls the best memoir of a generation--now with a foreword by Lena Dunham in celebration of its twentieth anniversary.

"Wickedly funny and always movingly illuminating, thanks to kick-ass storytelling and a poet's ear." The Liars' Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr's comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger's--a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at age twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. This unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as "funny, lively, and un-put-downable" (USA Today) today as it ever was. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 137 x 211 x 28mm | 386g
  • Penguin Books
  • English
  • 20th Deluxe ed.
  • 0143107798
  • 9780143107798
  • 832,361

About Mary Karr

Mary Karr kick-started a memoir revolution with The Liars' Club, which was a New York Times bestseller for over a year, a best book of the year for The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, People, and Time, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the winner of prizes from PEN and the Texas Institute of Letters. Karr has won the Whiting Award, Radcliffe's Bunting Fellowship, and Pushcart Prizes for both verse and essays, and she has been a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. Her other bestselling books include The Art of Memoir, the memoirs Lit and Cherry, and the poetry collections Sinners Welcome, Viper Rum, The Devil's Tour, and Abacus. The Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University, Karr lives in New York City. Lena Dunham (foreword) is the creator of the critically acclaimed HBO series Girls and the author of the New York Times bestselling essay collection Not That Kind of Girl. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, she lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Brian Rea (cover illustrator) is the longtime illustrator for the New York Times' "Modern Love" column and a former art director for the New York Times op-ed page. His design clients include Kate Spade, Honda, Billabong, Herman Miller, and MTV. Rea lives in Los Angeles.
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Review quote

The essential American story . . . a beauty. Jonathan Yardley, "The Washington Post Book World" Astonishing . . . one of the most dazzling and moving memoirs to come along in years. Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times" This book is so good I thought about sending it out for a backup opinion. . . . It s like finding Beethoven in Hoboken. 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 event. Molly Ivins, "The Nation" 9mm humor, gothic wit, and a stunning clarity of memory within a poet s vision . . . Karr s unerring scrutiny of her childhood delivers a story confoundingly real. "The Boston Sunday Globe" Overflows with sparkling wit and humor . . . Truth beats powerfully at the heart of this dazzling memoir. "San Francisco Chronicle" "Mary Karr's God-awful childhood has a calamitous appeal. The choice in the book is between howling misery and howling laughter, and the reader veers toward laughter. Karr has survived to write a drop-dead reply to the question, 'Ma, what was it like when you were a little girl?' " "Time" "This is the real deal; funny, painful, and hotter than Texas in September. This is what the memoir is supposed to be." Stephen King, "Entertainment Weekly" "Elegaic and searching . . . her toughness of spirit, her poetry, her language, her very voice are the agents of rebirth in this difficult, hard-earned journey." "The New York Times Book Review""
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Rating details

47,947 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 33% (15,618)
4 37% (17,661)
3 23% (10,913)
2 6% (2,786)
1 2% (969)
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