Sarah Gerard’s dazzling second book, Sunshine State, is a collection of essays interlacing narrative nonfiction and personal essay. The thirty-one year old Brooklynite teaches nonfiction and writes a monthly column for Hazlitt. She has received rave reviews from the New York Times, NPR, and The Millions....more
Posts Tagged: autobiography
Autofiction is in these days. Discussing her first novel Fantasian at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins blog, Larissa Pham unpacks her perspective on inserting autobiographical elements into fiction:
I knew that no matter what I wrote in my novella, given my history of truth-telling, there would be an implication that it was true.
For NPR Books, Quil Lawrence talks with a handful of soldiers-turned-authors about the genre of war literature that has been catalyzed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These authors want their audiences to know that war is not all Hollywood-scale battle scenes, and warn against the glamorization of war stories and hero-worshipping of veterans....more
For Lit Hub, Edward White writes about Jay Z and Morrissey’s experimental memoirs, investigating how both artists indulge and subvert what readers want from a musician’s autobiography:
Where Morrissey gives us a conventional autobiography in an unconventional way—no chapters, paragraphs that run for half-a-dozen pages, and seemingly no contribution from an editor—Jay-Z is more formally experimental, mixing memoir with manifesto in chapters that are centered on extensive, line-by-line analysis of some of his most famous, and infamous, lyrics.
For Threadless.com’s new monthly Women & Comics interview series, Gina H. Prescott speaks to cartoonist/writer/historian Julia Wertz. Wertz discusses her autobiographical comics; her historical and cityscape comics for the New Yorker and Harper’s; and offers advice to young artists and writers on incorporating personal material into their work....more
If you’ve never heard of Whit Taylor, then now is the perfect time to discover her. Ghost (2015) is her understated masterpiece, self-published just months ago. As I began reading the book, I thought I was in for a nice little story about a young woman who wanted to meet her idols—Charles Darwin, Joseph Campbell et....more
In such a world, the trajectory of any one character, however prominent, never escapes being warped by the gravity of another. Even if, as in Preparation for the Next Life, these background figures are no longer alive. Just as marginalization cannot reduce them to zeroes, neither do destruction and disappearance….
“It’s like peeping over the edge of the world while remembering you’ve left your spectacles on the kitchen table,” she writes of her cruelly paradoxical situation: knowing that death is on its way without knowing when exactly it will arrive.
Jenny Diski has inoperable lung cancer—and the prolific British essayist has chosen to write through it, often addressing her cancer in a “pull-me, push-me” structure alongside the three years she spent as the foster daughter of Doris Lessing....more
“The challenge of memorializing doesn’t favor professionals,” writes Sean Minogue over at Full Stop. So, how are autobiographical narratives of loss by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Joan Didion, or Paul Auster different from therapeutic journaling? Minogue takes a look at how these authors express the everyday details of living after a loss, and how new forms of written self-expression, like Twitter, shifts the line between personal and public grieving....more
In the wake of the destruction of precious cultural artifacts during the unrest in Iran and Syria, a quiet memoir from the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie, remembers the landscape and archeological legacy. The autobiographical Come, Tell Me How You Live never technically went out of print, but HarperCollins will re-release the book in time for Ms....more
Margery Kempe, a 15th century mother-of-14 visited by religious visions whose autobiography is considered among the first in the English language, has just gained significant cred. For the first time, historians have been able to verify significant parts of her account, by way of a newly discovered letter apparently written by her son....more
Memoirist, cartoonist, and creator of the famous Bechdel Test, Alison Bechdel talks to The Millions about the evolution of her art, winning a MacArthur “Genuis Grant,” and searching for answers in her past:
I feel like in a way that’s just what my work is, it’s just these albums that I’m arranging and then rearranging, in hopes of finding something out.
The long-awaited release of The Autobiography of Malcolm X in ebook format is on track for May of this year, to commemorate what would have been the activist’s 90th birthday. The print edition has been available from Ballantine, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for some time; the author’s estate is spearheading the digital publication in keeping with his principles, according to attorney L....more
The Guardian profiles Alex Malarkey, co-author of the bestseller The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven. After admitting that, among other things, he’s never actually been there, his publisher looks to backtrack, evangelists work at damage-control, and the Malarkeys try to find their way back to an even keel....more