Category Archives: Memoir

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming is only the second book I’ve read by Jacqueline Woodson. (The first, her spectacular picture book Show Way, is about seven generations of the women of an African-American family, from slavery through civil rights, and the instructions … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry | 11 Comments

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan was 24 years old and well into an exciting and successful career as a journalist at the New York Post. And then she noticed what looked like a bug bite on her arm. That was followed by a … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 12 Comments

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

Sherman Alexie’s new memoir is a combination of prose and poetry reflecting on his relationship with his parents, especially his mother; his childhood on the Spokane Indian Reservation; and his adult life away from the reservation. The emotions he expresses … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 6 Comments

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