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It wasn't until she entered the drama program at the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts that she found her tribe."Surrounded by every rejected neighborhood freak, I was free to be myself," she writes.

Have someone cut off your clitoris and feed it to a pig.

I don't feel sorry for me at all, and I sure as fuck don't feel sorry for you." She winces. It's a strange form of presence."Watching Parker cross the room to fetch her decoupage drying on the deck, I can see what Karr means.

After his retirement, they moved to the suburbs of Phoenix, where he got a job as a bank manager and settled into what they hoped would be a routine middle-class lifestyle.

But her father suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and would occasionally fly into uncontrollable rages, leaving holes in walls, chairs upset, and waiters quaking.

If anyone is hoping that this book "finally reveals what a dick Billy Crudup was," as one website put it, they'll be disappointed. " There is, she points out, only "one meanspirited line, and I'm not going to tell you what it is." (A guess: "Having sex with you was like making snow angels under a rhino.")When she does address the Crudup incident, it's in a letter apologizing for shrieking at a cabdriver—"I am pregnant and alone! "I caused your turban to pop loose from its foundation and that was extreme," she writes. There are letters to a drag-queen friend, her gay childhood priest, one of the goats.

The main inspiration for the book, and its emotional center, though, is her father, John, who died in 2010."I was always a romantic and liked dropping everything and going to Paris with someone I didn't really know, and I used to bristle when girls would sit around and, like, bash men and roll their eyes, because I always had such close friendships with men, and I felt I operated in the world in some ways more like a man." In this age of rah-rah sisterhood, a book in praise of men feels almost out of step.But Parker isn't so much interested in the Zeitgeist.She abhors social media, doesn't keep up with the news ("Bill Cosby from ?" she says, confused, when the subject of his rape allegations come up), and is impervious to bandwagons. I'm just not," she says, on the topic du jour among many of her peers in the industry."'Cause, sorry, I kind of think that women have it bad in the .