Mary Karr was born in a small city in Texas in 1955. She is a poet, essayist and author. She currently lectures in American Literature at Syracuse University, New York State. Mary Karr’s interest for literature developed at a very early age and aged eleven she wrote in a notebook that her ambition was to write poetry and an autobiography.
In 1989 she won the Whiting Award for Poetry. In 1995 she published The Liars’ Club, which would win her great critical acclaim and popularity. The book was present in the New York Times bestseller list for over a year, also being defined one of the best books of the year. It won her the PEN/Martha Albrand Award.
The book is a memoir recounting her bitter dramatic childhood, with a manic-depressive alcoholic mother, a weak quick-tempered father, a sister exacerbated by her daily struggle against subjugations and a cancer-suffering grandmother, whose death would cause the definitive collapse of the family. Written in a sharp essential prose, full of fierce irony, The Liars’ Club is the chronicle of a family’s unhappiness and the engaging highly intense evocation of memorable characters. She then published Cherry (2001), a memoir of her adolescence, and Lit: A Memoir. She has also published four volumes of poetry: Abacus (1987), The Devil’s Tour (1993), Viper Rum (1998) and Sinners Welcome (2006). Her poems have appeared on Poetry, The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. She has won the Pushcart Prize for her poetry and essays.