Category Archives: Memoir

To the Is-Land

The first volume of Janet Frame’s autobiography begins with a chapter called In the Second Place: From the first place of liquid darkness, within the second place of air and light, I set down the following record with its mixture … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 2 Comments

Dimestore: A Writer’s Life

When I was in college and away from my rural southwest Virginia home, I discovered the novels of Lee Smith. Although her hometown of Grundy was a couple hundred miles west of my hometown, her writing felt culturally close to … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 6 Comments

March: Book 3

The third volume of John Lewis’s memoir in comic-book form picks up with the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed four girls. As the head of the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Lewis, along with fellow … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic Novels / Comics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 7 Comments

The Way to Rainy Mountain

In 2012, I read N. Scott Momaday’s groundbreaking novel House Made of Dawn, which is the story of a young Native man who has returned to the reservation from the second World War in order to face his demons. The … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir | 4 Comments

Birds, Art, Life

When writer Kyo Maclear began taking care of her ailing father, she found herself adrift and unable to write. Constant worry and the changing patterns of her day became difficult to manage.She writes that A mind narrows when it has … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

Nox

I had a birthday in July, and I received a copy of Anne Carson’s beautiful book-artifact Nox, in which she explores — in poetry, in Latin, in photography and letters and art, in what is said and not said — … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Poetry | 7 Comments

Travels in West Africa

The last time I read a travelogue by an intrepid Victorian lady explorer, I had mixed feelings about it. Amelia B. Edwards’s A Thousand Miles Up the Nile was a fascinating look at 19th-century Egypt and what it was like … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 14 Comments

Blood Done Sign My Name

In the United States, when we are first taught about the Civil Rights movement, in our high schools and sometimes into college, it goes something like this: There was segregation and injustice, and it was bad. And then Martin Luther … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 13 Comments

Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith

Monica A. Coleman’s memoir touches on a lot of significant themes: faith, grief, trauma, rape, depression, prayer, race, family, friendship, and history among them. She begins with the story of her great-grandfather who died, it was said, “of grief,” hanging … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion | 8 Comments

Greetings from Utopia Park

Claire Hoffman received her first mantra when she was just 3 years old. Her mother practiced Transcendental Meditation and brought up Claire and her brother, Stacey, to do the same. Periods of meditation, often during quiet play, were part of Claire’s life … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 6 Comments