Tropic of Squalor: Poems (Hardcover)
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“As in all her work, Karr’s genius is in creating her own music from a mashup of lexicons, daringly and often wittily infusing the lyrical with everyday vernacular.”