Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch | Memoir

badluck

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend about hiking. He asked me in both a rhetorical and whimsical manner why it is that humans feel the need to summit mountains. While giving him my own theory (it involves the mystery of Mother Nature, the accomplishment felt after reaching a set goal, and […]

Keeping Score | Memoir

mermaid

Fall approaches. The boys of summer are winding it all down on the diamond and the gridiron guys are gearing up. Since my sport is reading, I’ve tallied up the major themes and attributes of this month’s six memoirs. Here are the scores: family stories six/six; tales of resilience six/six; woman memoirists five/six; damages of […]

Making Moves, Making Dates | Memoir

fakebook

Memoirs sort of akin to going to your favorite restaurant, finding out the menu has changed, and then against all odds, enjoying the new offerings.

Behind Closed Doors on Long Island | Memoir

Bough Down

Dylan told us all that “everything is gonna be diff’rent when I paint my masterpiece.” The belief that things could be different, even if they weren’t going to be perfect, carried many of this month’s memoirists through very trying times. Masterpieces are not always on canvas: here we glimpse families, houses, and careers that are themselves real works of art.

Surprise Roosters | Memoir

Bootstapper

According to this month’s memoirists, a surprise rooster is a formerly sweet hen that starts acting like a brute and grows feathers in suspicious places. Cock-a-doodle-doo! Oddly, the first two memoirs I read this month (Bootstrapper and Mud Season) featured a surprise rooster that both authors thought was a hen but turned out not to […]

Memoir Is Storytelling | Memoir

Double Double

Last month I found something in blogland that summed up the ideal of memoir writing so elegantly that I have to get out of the way and let Dani Shapiro—whose memoir Devotion you should all run out and read right now—do the talking. What is the job of the memoirist? Is it to tell all? […]

I Will Survive | Memoir Short Takes

Walden on Wheels

Some stories of survival leave powerful imprints on human consciousness: a wrist stuck under a boulder; a teenager stranded with only a hatchet; cloned dinosaurs on a rampage.* Such images leave us white knuckled with tense jaws and a ferocious desire to know what will happen next. Still, survival may mean something as simple as putting one foot in front of the other each morning, joining a choir, moving into a van, getting sober, or leaving the country. This month’s memoirs column features acts of survival that may seem small but are in fact indispensable steps taken in the direction of a more fulfilling life.

Lost Halves, Lost Houses, and Lost Homes | Memoir Short Takes

Her

It’s a big world, and the number of stories out there reflects its immensity. This month’s memoirs contain tales of young lives formed and spent in places like the Hudson Valley, Chicago, Oakland, Louisiana, and Utah (with stints in Africa, Venice, and Antarctica). Was geography destiny for our memoirists? Does where you come from matter as […]

Dad Jokes, Chainsaws, Cystic Fibrosis, and Iowa | Memoir Short Takes

My Foreign Cities

Whether its a labor of love, a labor in the dirt, farm labor, or a complete lack of labor, these memoirists can never claim that their time was spent idly.

Memoir Short Takes: Food, Drink, and DNA

Drinking with Men

The first few weeks of a new year make for a good time to review the work this column does. Reviewing memoir is tricky stuff, and a review is not a referendum on the writer’s life. A loathsome life story beautifully told? Great. A life of virtue predictably related? Nope. Like I’ve said before: it’s […]

Featuring YD Feedwordpress Content Filter Plugin