Articles tagged memoir

‘Calcutta’ Is a Vivid, Sensitive, and Perceptive Literary Portrait of the City

The author presents a balanced, if occasionally slow-paced, portrait of his birthplace, detailing his travels and memories of Calcutta over a two-year period.

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Barney Frank Is the Neville Longbottom of US Politics

Barney Frank is a self-deprecator, a self-doubter, a teller of bad jokes, and a wearer of ill-fitting suits, but his talent for economics is rather like Longbottom’s talent for herbology.

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Richard Goldstein on the Front Lines With Janis Joplin, Andy Warhol, Abby Hoffman and More

Richard Goldstein's journey is a closely observed, fervently lived “I was there” account of the music, the politics, the sex, the drugs, and the poetry in rock lyrics.

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Punk Was Never the Same After the Slits Came on the Scene

There’s a lot of blood on the pages of Albertine's memoir. And she mixes it into the ink generously for an unflinching look at life in a punk and post-punk world.

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Vivian Gornick’s The Odd Woman and the City is a book of ghosts. Ghosts of the past; ghosts of New York, which is for her both home and character; ghosts of a lifetime of reading, intentional and covert.

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‘The Light of the World’ Explores How to Cope When a Light Goes Out

In April 2012, Ficremariam Ghebreyseus collapsed on the treadmill in the house he shared with wife Elizabeth Alexander. Yet her memoir stubbornly adheres to joy.

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‘H Is for Hawk’ and for Healing

This book about grief and hawks and T.H. White is so beautifully written that even readers unable to tell robins from parakeets will be entranced.

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Tracing a Literary Lineage in Jonathan Franzen’s ‘The Kraus Project’

This unlikely combination of a translation and memoir offers as many telling insights into the preoccupations of Jonathan Franzen as it does into Karl Kraus' life and work.

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycling in Neil Peart’s ‘Far and Away’

Reading Far and Away is like taking a personal journey with a good friend who has a great yarn to tell you about his globetrotting trips around the world.

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‘Life Itself’, From One of the Few Writers of the Modern Era Who Can Express Joy Without Schmaltz

Roger Ebert describes the movie of his life, lending his unique outlook to his childhood, his relationship with Gene Siskel, and his recent battle with cancer.

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‘Roadie: My Life on the Road with Coldplay’: It’s All About the Beck’s

Matt McGinn has been a roadie for Coldplay for more than a decade. Roadie: My Life on the Road with Coldplay is exactly what it sounds like, and, according to Coldplay, "half of this book is probably true."

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88 Highly Debatable Statements About ‘Reality’ in ‘Reality Hunger’

When I review a book, I like to dog-ear pages that contain interesting passages or noteworthy statements. By the time I was done with Reality Hunger, my paperback was so puffed up by pages that were doubled in width from dog-earing that it looked like I'd dropped it into a hot bath filled with Calgon and then left it to dry on a radiator.

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‘Disaster Preparedness’ Needed Some Memoir Preparedness

If art is seduction, as Susan Sontag reminds us, in the case of memoir-writing let it be said that the memoir cannot seduce another when the author is too busy seducing herself.

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‘Love in a Headscarf’: True Love Will Find You in the End

This memoir is written like a British Muslim version of Sex and the City, just without the fashion porn – unless, of course, wearing the hijab can be considered to be just as fashionable as it is spiritual.

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‘Nothing Left to Burn’: Rising From the Ashes of a Family Legacy

A story of a family’s twisted relationship to fire and the protagonist's gradual recognition of his legacy.

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‘Cigar Box Banjo’  Is a Nice Parting Gift From One of Canada’s Most Talented Writers

Cigar Box Banjo is less a memoir than it is an epitaph: Paul Quarrington wanted to be taken seriously as a bluesman, less so as an author.

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Invisible by Hugues De Montalembert

This is a thought-provoking book, and I walked away from it thinking I knew a little bit more about myself and the world around me.

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The Ticking is the Bomb by Nick Flynn

Flynn’s obsessive nature may force his locomotive mind off the rails, but he dutifully and beautifully records what’s illuminated by the sparks.

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31 Jan 2010 // 10:00 PM

The Lives of Others

There's a higher ratio of disposable schlock in the memoir than in other literary genres, but the best memoirs permit access to lives strange, twisted, wasted, brave, and glorious -- lives, in short, other than our own.

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The Inevitable Death of Julian Barnes and Everyone Else

According to Julian Barnes, the fear of death is "the most rational thing in the world." But denying the certainty of death also can be a rational act, at least until that time when it is not.

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'True Detective': Maybe Tomorrow

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"True Detective, Season 2, Episode 3: Where does the kitsch end and the surreal begin?

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