Mary Karr recalls an age when children seek out the very trouble their parents hope they will avoid.

By Mary Karr

Published May 22, 2001 5:02AM (EDT)

Mary Karr is the recipient of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for her memoir "The Liar's Club." A poet and essayist, she has won Pushcart Prizes in both genres. Her other grants and awards include the prestigious Whiting Award and the Bunting Fellowship from Radcliffe College. Her previous poetry collections are "Abacus," "The Devil's Tour" and "Viper Rum."

In "The Liar's Club," Mary Karr told the tale of her hardscrabble Texas childhood. But the book, which stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year, left people wondering: How did that scrappy kid make it out of there? In her latest book, "Cherry" (Viking), Karr recalls her teen years and deftly expresses the paralyzing self-doubt of a young woman.

In this recording from Random House Audio, Karr recalls her crush on "Phil" and that awe-inspiring period of exploration when adolescents seek out the "rituals of transformation" their parents hope they will avoid.

Mary Karr


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