memoir Archive

Our Ladies of Perpetual Sorrow

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There’s something happening with the personal in writing, and Jason Guriel’s highly circulated Walrus essay “I Don’t Care About Your Life” wants to warn us about it. “I Don’t Care About Your Life” isn’t as polemical as it sounds. For one, its title doesn’t so much reveal Guriel’s hand,

Review: DIMESTORE by Lee Smith

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Dimestore Lee Smith Algonquin, March 2016 224 pp; $24.95 Buy: hardcover | eBook Confession: Until picking up a copy of Dimestore, I had never read best-selling fiction author, Lee Smith, despite her praises routinely sung by friends and colleagues. Although I’m not proud of this disclosure, as a creative

The Food Memoir: Harking Back to Childhood

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One of the most profound depictions of memory in literature is immortalized in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. The Madeleine Moment, as it is often called, exists in Proust’s seven-volume novel, where the narrator is swamped by memories when he dunks a madeleine, a sort of cake,

“Ghosts Usually Accompany Me through My Poems”: An Interview with Diane Seuss

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Words just seem to have more possibilities in the poems of Diane Seuss. They become more flexible, more magnetic, attracting and accumulating meaning and music in a speedy rush to surprise, a hard-won clarity about what it’s like to be here, be human. Diane is the author of three

The Autobiography of the Imagination: Toward a Definition

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The autobiography of the imagination writes itself, one could say. It writes every time we write, every time we dream or daydream. It is its own captain’s log, the transaction and receipt. It reveals the self to make the self into a stranger, twisting the I to wring out

The High Art of Food Literature. Seriously?

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“The writer who never talks about eating, about appetite, hunger, food, about cooks and meals, arouses my suspicion as though some vital element were missing in him,” wrote the Italian writer Aldo Buzzi, in his book, The Perfect Egg: And Other Secrets. Yet, writers who write primarily about food

Squad Books

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Look, I’m not trying to be Internetty. But at the end of a year I’ve spent thinking a lot about friendship, I don’t want my last post to be another family tree. Instead, I want to write about books that are my friends. I want to write about the

“Subjects We Never Completely Learn”: An Interview with Daniel Nester

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Daniel Nester’s prose zings back and forth between the heart and the funny bone. His latest book, Shader, is a kaleidoscopic coming-of-age story told in brief chapters called “notes.” It’s like one of those family slideshows that make us laugh, groan, squirm in our chairs, and sometimes cry. His

Review: WHAT COMES NEXT AND HOW TO LIKE IT by Abigail Thomas

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What Comes Next and How to Like It Abigail Thomas Scribner, March 2015 240 pages Buy: book | ebook I was first introduced to Abigail Thomas’s work in grad school when I read Safekeeping: Some True Stories From a Life. Initially, I was startled by its economy of words,

Review: CHAMIQUE by Chamique Holdsclaw

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Chamique: On Family, Focus, and Basketball Chamique Holdsclaw with Jennifer Frey Scribner, 2000 189 pages Buy: ebook Much like Brittney Griner’s In My Skin, Chamique is a slapped-together memoir by a college basketball wunderkind, Chamique Holdsclaw, following the player’s uneven rookie year in the pros. Where In My Skin charmed with Griner’s honesty