Tag Archives: memoir

#WhatImReadingNow : Negroland

“Debi and Judi asked me if we know their janitor, Mr. Johnson. They think he lives near us.” “It’s a big neighborhood,” Mother says. “Why would we know their janitor? White people think Negroes all know each other, and they always want you to know their janitor. Do they want to know our laundryman?” That […]

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Short Saturday: Someone to Tell Your Stories To …

I’ve recently finished a wonderful memoir by geobiologist Hope Jahren called Lab Girl. The book is many things—“a treatise on plant life,” the jacket blurb tells us—but it’s also about scientists, the world of science, and about being a woman in a field dominated by men. Perhaps as a side note, it is marvelously written, and […]

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Short Saturday: Making a List, Checking It Twice

Since we’ve just been talking about the perfect gift—a book, of course—I figured it was time to rerun my lists of lists for book lovers. I ran this post last year but I’ve got a few more ideas to add to it: For Kids It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Christmas books for kids) […]

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Short Saturday: Advice from Great Memoirists

We’ve talked some, here, about memoir, creative nonfiction, and personal essays, probably because it’s a type of writing I particularly enjoy (for work and personal reading). I’ve even reviewed some I’ve read: Michael Hainey, Elizabeth Bard, Eddie Huang, Phyllis Rose, and Michael Paterniti. So this article grabbed my attention right away. In it, the editors […]

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Short Saturday: Being Careful

A friend of mine wrote a book about something that happened to her—a true story. A memoir. She found a publisher for it. The book was given an ISBN number, a cover, edited, presented in the publisher’s spring catalogue and put up on all the major retailers’ sites … And then it wasn’t. The publisher […]

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Born Storyteller

Amy Gallup is an aging novelist and writing instructor in Jincy Willett’s 2013 novel Amy Falls Down. She’s traveling by train across the country … That evening Amy decided to take supper in the dining car. The maître d’, a magenta-coiffed young woman whose job it apparently was to segregate the diners according to age, […]

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Short Saturday: Memoir Reading and Writing

I’ve always enjoyed a good memoir (and if you’re not sure what one looks like, check out Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club). I’ve reviewed more than one here (Michael Hainey, Eddie Huang, Michael Paterniti), and I’ve written about what makes a good one. If you’re also a fan of memoir, you may be familiar with […]

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The Bonus Round (2014 Edition)

I’ve been publishing a recap, every January (or February!), of every book mentioned in posts during the past year. It’s just a list of of books I talked about last year, here on the blog, and I present them as a cross-reference … in case you were thinking of reading one of them, say. Mind […]

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My Year of Reading Nonfiction

There is a photo of me in my mid-twenties sitting at the kitchen table reading a book. There are two other books on the table, one open, and my arms are positioned in such a way that I am touching all three books. This would not be untypical for me. In those days, I would […]

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Short Saturday: Books and Christmas

Earlier this week I took three packages to the post office and shipped them all at the ultra-cheap “book rate.” (It has its origins in the Founding Fathers’ belief in the freedom of the press.) Actually this rate is called Media Mail now: Small and large packages and thick envelopes can be sent domestically using […]

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