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About the Book

A new volume of poetry from the New York Times bestselling and esteemed author of The Liar’s Club and Lit.

Long before she earned accolades for her genre-defining memoirs, Mary Karr was winning poetry prizes. Now the beloved author returns with a collection of bracing poems as visceral and deeply felt and hilarious as her memoirs. In Tropic of Squalor, Karr dares to address the numinous—that mystery some of us hope towards in secret, or maybe dare to pray to. The "squalor" of meaninglessness that every thoughtful person wrestles with sits at the core of human suffering, and Karr renders it with power—illness, death, love’s agonized disappointments. Her brazen verse calls us out of our psychic swamplands and into that hard-won awareness of the divine hiding in the small moments that make us human. In a single poem she can generate tears, horror, empathy, laughter, and peace. She never preaches. But whether you’re an adamant atheist, a pilgrim, or skeptically curious, these poems will urge you to find an inner light in the most baffling hours of darkness.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A catalogue of broken graces.... Scorched, palpable, sometimes pungent, sometimes brutal: Karr’s new collection is a mixture of tight narratives that end without resolution, hymns of unsettled suffering, and confused prayers.” —The Millions

“Know best for her bold memoirs, Karr brings the same scorching frankness to her vivid, kinetic lyrics.... Karr’s poems are thrilling in their vitality, dazzle, nerve, longing, and camouflaged depth.” —Booklist

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062699824
  • ISBN 10: 0062699822
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 05/08/2018
  • Pages: 96
  • List Price: 28.50 CAD
  • BISAC1: POETRY / Women Authors
  • BISAC2: POETRY / American / General
  • BISAC3: POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Inspirational & Religious

Tropic of Squalor by Mary Karr

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