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Memoir 'Rust' Wrestles with the Myth of the American Dream

Eliese Colette Goldbach's memoir, Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit, is the story of one descending into the depths of The American Dream and emerging with flecks of graphite dust on her cheeks, a master's degree in her hands, and a few new friends.

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Rebecca Solnit Attains Peace of Mind

The fact that Rebecca Solnit still exists is all the proof we need that her feminist thinking remains vital.

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John Hodgman Is Flying High in Memoir, 'Medallion Status'

TV star/writer/podcast host -- just don't call him a standup comic -- John Hodgman tackles class aspiration and other inconveniences in his memoir, Medallion Status.

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'Uncanny Valley': When the Confidence Boys Took Over Everything

Anna Wiener's Silicon Valley memoir, Uncanny Valley, reveals a piratical industry choking on its own hubris and blind to the cost of its destruction.

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Chuck Palahniuk's Memoir, 'Consider This', Is As Unsafe As His Fiction

Chuck Palahniuk has lived some amazing stories while he has written his much-consumed stories. As we're lead to believe, anyway.

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The Burning Resilience of the Human Mind: 'Angry Queer Somali Boy'

Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali's raw and visceral memoir, Angry Queer Somali Boy, brilliantly reveals the impact of racism and colonialism on immigrant lives.

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Reader Beware: Eve Babitz Is Still Utterly Charming

Eve Babitz is more than a child of the 1960s. She is also '50s glamour and '70s glam. In I Used to Be Charming, she reflects on those decades with her sharp eye on cultural trends and transformations.

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Morris Day Gives the Reader a Funky Take on a Life in Funk with 'On Time'

Day built his everything on top of Prince's everything, and it's no secret. In his memoir, On Time, he channels the superstar to enjoyable effect.

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Chavisa Woods: 100 Times (A Memoir of Sexism)

Chavis Woods' 100 Times (A Memoir of Sexism) is the ideal tool for inciting the collective rage needed to subvert gender-based harassment and violence.

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The Horror and the Humor in Liz Phair's 'Horror Stories'

In her music industry memoir, Horror Stories, Liz Phair has a knack for imbuing the ordinary with a weighty and relatable significance.

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'In the Dream House' Nothing Will Change -- Until Something Erupts

Folk tales, fantasy, pop culture and family weave gracefully throughout Carmen Maria Machado's harrowing yet graceful memoir of domestic abuse, In the Dream House.

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The "Unrequited Love" of An Accidental (Gay) Activist

In the '70s Dennis Altman was a founding figure of gay liberation. Now more restrained than radical, the Australian author and activist recounts the past and present of sexual politics in his new book, Unrequited Love.

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Harrowing with a Purpose: Jaquira Diaz's 'Ordinary Girls'

Jaquira Diaz's memoir, Ordinary Girls, provides an extraordinary guide to becoming fierce, strong, and loving in a world of monsters.

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On Jennine Capó Crucet's Course in Continuing Education, 'My Time Among the Whites'

In her memoir My Time Among the Whites, Jennine Capó Crucet demonstrates that making your home among strangers is harder than it seems.

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On Difficulties with Acculturation in 'From Chernobyl with Love'

Journalist Katya Cengel's memoir, From Chernobyl with Love, is more illuminating of the American mindset than it is of Latvia and Ukraine.

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Mieke Eerkens 'All Ships Follow Me'  Is a Harrowing Family Memoir Scarred by the Horrors of War

Against the backdrop of Dutch East Indies colonialism and Nazi sympathizers, two families come together amidst the ashes of World War II in Mieke Eerkens' moving family history, All Ships Follow Me.

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Chris Schwartz's Memoir on Founding Ruffhouse Records Gleans but Doesn't Illuminate

Chris Schwartz's memoir on founding Ruffhouse Records attempts to be many things but doesn't fully deliver on any of them, making for a conventionally-structured memoir that often reads as slapdash and dry.

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'I Am, I Am, I Am' Is a Celebration of Life in the Midst of (Near) Death

Maggie O'Farrell's I Am, I Am, I Am is a unique twist on the memoir, framed by 17 stories of harrowing near-misses.

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Does Amber Tamblyn's 'Era of Ignition' Ignite Your Flame?

Actor Amber Tamblyn is aspiring to something deeper than just the chronicle of herself as a young ingénue who came of age as a TV star in her memoir, Era of Ignition. In our politically tumultuous times, does she succeed?

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A Translator Between Worlds: On Behrouz Boochani's Work from the Manus Island Prison Camp

His intellectual and journalistic training, coupled with an eloquent capacity for literary expression, enables Behrouz Boochani to bridge the lived experience of refugees with non-refugee audiences and to express it in the context of the critical social and political theory which shapes intellectual elites' understanding of the refugee crisis.

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'The Barefoot Woman' and Writing Against Genocide

As political partisanship grows more fierce let us realize what happens when such bluster and rage escape the realm of the abstract. Scholastique Mukasonga's The Barefoot Woman is a thoughtful tribute to her mother, who was murdered in the Rwandan genocide.

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'All the Lives We Ever Lived' Finds Comfort in Mourning with Virginia Woolf

These days, when personal grief becomes a public performance on social media, it's heartening to have a book such as Katharine Smyth's All the Lives We Ever Lived, wherein deep introspection is given space and literature provides both solace and inspiration.

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Jessica Hopper's 'Night Moves': Prose Poetry for the Punk Rock Masses

Jessica Hopper's Night Moves is a dozen thorny roses for the city that keeps blowing its windy-ness beneath her darkly comic wings.

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Irony Triumphs in Theodor Kallifatides's 'Another Life'

In writing about the inability to write, Theodor Kallifatides has produced a book, Another Life, which aches with its own quiet beauties and inspires with its resilient creativity.

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So Long to All That: Jeff Tweedy Tells His Story

Wilco founder Jeff Tweedy creates a frank, plain-spoken tale of love, perseverance, and recovery in his memoir, Let's Go (So We Can Get Back).

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'Bitwise' and Our Fluid Interactions with Technology

David Auerbach offers a unique perspective on the fascinations of technology as well as how it can often blight our sensibilities when thinking about our fellow human beings.

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​Michael Chabon and Pops Culture

If there is one thing even harder than parenting, it's writing about parenting well.

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'The Widower's Notebook' Compassionately Explores How Men Are Allowed to Grieve

Enduring loss and grief is never easy but it's rendered remarkably in Santlofer's work.

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Touring with the Replacements: A Roadie's POV

The writing in Lemon Jail is at times as anarchic as a tour, occasionally bordering on incoherent.

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Keep Questioning. Keep Protesting. Keep Voting: 'When They Call You a Terrorist'

The Black Lives Matter movement has disrupted an undeserved comfort and acceptance of an unjust society. Rightfully so.

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Chris Stamey's Homage to the New York Music Scene of the '70s

A Spy In The House of Loud works best on quiet stages, taking singular trips down clearly paved roads with definite endings.

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Dave Eggers' 'The Monk of Mokha' Is a Little Too Carefully Brewed

Wherein understanding is synonymous with compassion, then surely the effort Eggers has extended through most of his publishing career should be applauded.

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Is a Wasted Day the Same as a Lost Opportunity?

Patricia Hampl explores the intersection between wandering, leisure, and the power of the imagination in this thoughtful memoir.

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On Porochista Khakpour's 'Sick', or, When Marginal Identifiers Are No Excuse

A reader will understand and sympathize with the illness and its ramifications presented here. But with the unreliable narrator -- not so much.

Books

Time Out of Minds: Interview with Author Ryan Walsh on Van Morrison's 'Astral Weeks'

Ryan Walsh chronicles the making of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and the chaotic Boston scene that gave birth to it and tells us all about it in this expansive interview.

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'The Art of Vanishing' and the Problem with Hybrids

The Art of Vanishing is strongest when it covers the life of an independent girl, Barbara Follett, a prodigy molded almost to death by demanding parents.

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