memoir Archive

Review: SURPASSING CERTAINTY: WHAT MY TWENTIES TAUGHT ME by Janet Mock

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A constant theme of the book is Mock’s profound isolation, reinforced by her “stealth” status, “wearing that cloak of normalcy” where she is seen as a cisgender woman.

Death Memoirs and What They Impart to the Living

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Recent memoirs on death and dying offer profound insights for the living, from Edwidge Danticat’s comprehensive new book, The Art of Death, to more intimate accounts of facing death first-hand, such as Nina Riggs’ The Bright Hour and Cory Taylor’s Dying: A Memoir.

The Narrative Conscience: An Interview With Connie May Fowler

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Connie May Fowler’s new memoir, A Million Fragile Bones, is the story of finding home on a Florida sandbar, a migratory crossroads for monarchs, hummingbirds, purple martins, where “dragonflies stir the air with the metallic thrum of transparent wings.”

Review: THE RULES DO NOT APPLY by Ariel Levy

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A staff writer for The New Yorker, Ariel Levy describes her beat as “women who are too much.

The Limits and Freedoms of Literary Regionalism: Silence and the Self in Joan Didion’s Southern California Memoir

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Joan Didion's 1979 book of essays The White Album is not only a road trip through the gridded streets and indecisive canyons of Los Angeles County, but also a meditation on Southern California as a setting for self-discovery.

Shirley Jackson, Madeleine L’Engle, and Motherhood

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I read much of Shirley Jackson’s memoir of raising four children, Life Among the Savages (1952), on a weekend when I was caring for three children. For a brief stretch—maybe five pages—we achieved a fragile equilibrium and they were all attached to me as I read.

Review: ABANDON ME by Melissa Febos

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Abandon me. The title is a straight-faced challenge. To her lover who she fears will. To two fathers who already have. To the reader who’s embarking on this story with her. Abandon me. Do the worst thing to me I can imagine. And I will save myself with story.

How Food Stars in Peter Mayle’s Memoir

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Being a lover of food and memoirs, I have a dream of living in a foreign country, especially in Europe, for a year and writing about its food customs.

Writing Fiction from Life

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Some writers that I know are at times so unsure of whether a story is theirs to tell that they will shelve a project for years at a time, waiting for some kind of permission to be granted, or for forgiveness, or for a death. But sometimes those things

The Beauty of Self-deprecation in Andrew Miller’s IF ONLY THE NAMES WERE CHANGED

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Fasten your seat belts. Andrew Miller’s alternative lit style is about to take you on a bumpy ride. His memoir in essays, IF ONLY THE NAMES WERE CHANGED, vacillates between hyper-masculine and tender in terrain that traverses parental concerns about raising a daughter, drug and alcohol abuse, and how