Amid the 21st-century glut of overindulgent memoirs, The Removers is a poignant, near-perfect addition to the genre. Andrew Meredith writes of growing up in a crumbling Philadelphia neighborhood, his family quietly imploding in the wake of a scandal that cost his father his university job.
Ah, WASPs: Those guilt-ridden, uptight, real estate-obsessed traditionalists. In Perfectly Miserable: Guilt, God and Real Estate in a Small Town, Sarah Payne Stuart captures the essence of this distinctive culture, tracing both her own childhood in Concord, Massachusetts, and the lives of some of Concord’s famous residents, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott.
BookPage Nonfiction Top Pick, May 2014
Robin Roberts took a leave of absence as co-host of “Good Morning America” in 2012 to face a life-threatening battle with a blood disorder, one that likely was caused by the chemotherapy she endured during a bout with breast cancer five years earlier. In Everybody’s Got Something, Roberts manages to “make her mess her message,” as her beloved mother always advised her to do.
BookPage Nonfiction Top Pick, April 2014
Frances Mayes’ lyrical memoir of growing up Southern was a long time coming. Worried about upsetting her family, she stopped and started Under Magnolia many times over: “Anytime I felt the impulse to start my Southern opus again, I instead headed for a movie or a new Thai restaurant,” she writes. “I’d go jogging or read a novel until the impulse faded.”
In a frank and richly evocative memoir, the author of Under the Tuscan Sun recalls growing up in the Deep South.
Why did you feel now was the right time to write a memoir of your coming-of-age?
Moving from California (where I lived and worked for decades) back to the South reconnected me on many levels with the land I came from originally. Some of the connections were simple and primitive—the fecund and flowery smells, the cheerful sounds of the tree frogs, the grating drama of cicadas, the grand sunsets and the intense humidity.
One of the unlikeliest marriages in American history—between a staunch conservative and a diehard liberal—is still going strong after 20 years.
When David MacLean woke up on a train platform in India, he had no idea who he was or why he was there. “It was darkness, darkness, darkness, then snap. Me. Now awake,” he writes. MacLean was hospitalized with severe hallucinations and near total amnesia. Officials assumed he was a foreigner who had taken too many drugs. The truth was that he was suffering from a reaction to an...
What happens when a raging liberal feminist Latina starts dating a conservative, traditional New Mexican rancher? You get The Feminist and the Cowboy, a turbulent memoir by best-selling writer Alisa Valdes that is by turns thought-provoking and exhausting.Divorced with a young son, Valdes meets “the cowboy”—that’s what she calls him throughout the book—via an...
One brother served as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff and is now mayor of Chicago. Another is a bioethicist and White House health advisor. The third is a Hollywood power agent.How do three such accomplished men come from one family? That’s the question at the center of Brothers Emanuel, a lovely memoir from the eldest brother, Ezekiel (the bioethicist). Certainly their...
At the age of 84, Maya Angelou doesn’t have to write anymore. She has global fame as a poet, author and performer, as well as a professorship in American Studies at Wake Forest University. She has won three Grammys and a Presidential Medal of Arts, published two cookbooks, directed movies and appeared on “Sesame Street.”She...