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Shivering Eyeballs

Jessica Olin: Mary Karr, 1 November 2001

Cherry 
by Mary Karr.
Picador, 276 pp., £14, June 2001, 9780330485753
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... I am not very successful as a little girl,’ Mary Karr wrote in her diary when she was 11. ‘When I grow up, I will probably be a mess.’ This is how Cherry, the second instalment in her account of her early life, begins. The first, The Liars’ Club, was published in 1995. Now it is the summer before she enters sixth grade; she has no friends, her parents are out at work and her older sister is busy being a blonde goddess ...

What did it matter who I was?

Gaby Wood, 19 October 1995

The Blue Suit 
by Richard Rayner.
Picador, 216 pp., £9.99, July 1995, 0 330 33821 8
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The Liar’s Club 
by Mary Karr.
Picador, 317 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 0 330 33597 9
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... using the excuse and genre of the confession to write a memoir, to relive his lies one more time. Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club is subtitled ‘a memoir’. It opens with a quote from R.D. Laing: ‘We have our secrets and our needs to confess. We may remember ... what an accomplishment it was when we, in fear and trembling, could tell our first ...

God wielded the buzzer

Christian Lorentzen: The Sorrows of DFW, 11 October 2012

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace 
by D.T. Max.
Granta, 352 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 84708 494 1
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... teaching fiction at Emerson College in Boston; Syracuse, where he went to be close to the poet Mary Karr; Bloomington-Normal for his first secure position at Illinois State; and finally Pomona College, in Claremont, California, where he killed himself in 2008 at the age of 46. He emerged as a writer from a university-based avant-garde tradition, but ...

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