In this powerfully funny, razor's edge tale of a fractured girlhood, prize-winning poet and critic Mary Karr conjures up the terrors and joys of growing up in a swampy East Texas refinery town, at the epicenter of a family full of passionate, volatie attachments. In a voice stipped of self-pity, in language reinvented with a raw authenticity and brilliant energy, Karr shows readers a "terrific family of liars and drunks . . . redeemed by a slow unearthing of truth".