Category Archives for "Writing Memoirs"

Want to learn to write memoirs? Check out the #IndiesUnite recommended books on writing memoirs.

Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing

Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing

Bloomsbury PublishingPrice: $13.72 Free Shipping




A shimmering jewel of a book about writing from two-time Booker Prize finalist Deborah Levy, to publish alongside her new work of nonfiction, The Cost of Living.

Blending personal history, gender politics, philosophy, and literary theory into a luminescent treatise on writing, love, and loss, Things I Don’t Want to Know is Deborah Levy’s witty response to George Orwell’s influential essay “Why I Write.” Orwell identified four reasons he was driven to hammer at his typewriter–political purpose, historical impulse, sheer egoism, and aesthetic enthusiasm–and Levy’s newest work riffs on these same commitments from a female writer’s perspective.

As she struggles to balance womanhood, motherhood, and her writing career, Levy identifies some of the real-life experiences that have shaped her novels, including her family’s emigration from South Africa in the era of apartheid; her teenage years in the UK where she played at being a writer in the company of builders and bus drivers in cheap diners; and her theater-writing days touring Poland in the midst of Eastern Europe’s economic crisis, where she observed how a soldier tenderly kissed the women in his life goodbye.

Spanning continents (Africa and Europe) and decades (we meet the writer at seven, fifteen, and fifty), Things I Don’t Want to Know brings the reader into a writer’s heart.





Price: $16.00 $13.72

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Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes) (Convergent)

Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes) (Convergent)

Convergent BooksPrice: $17.10 Free Shipping




A noted entrepreneur, food writer, and recipe developer serves up an evocative adventure story about her quest to find healing, meaning, and a place at the table.
 
Hunger comes to us in many forms, writes Lia Huber—we long to be satisfied not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Nourished invites readers on Huber’s world-roaming search to find the necessary ingredients to nurture all three.
     She begins her quest with an Anthony Bourdain moment in a Guatemalan village: she’s slipping fresh vegetables into a communal pot of soup she’s cooking up for chronically undernourished children. Village grannies look on disapprovingly… until the kids come back for more.
     From there, Huber takes readers to the Greek island of Corfu, where she learns the joys of simple food and the power of unconditional love; to a Costa Rican jungle house (by way of an 8,000-mile road trip), where she finds hope and healing; and finally to California’s wine country, where she steps into the person she was meant to be and discovers her calling to nourish others.



Price: $26.00 $17.10

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Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

Penguin BooksPrice: $11.55 Free Shipping




A stunning masterclass on the creative process, the craft of writing, and the art of finding inspiration from Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Roxane Gay, Neil Gaiman, and more of the most acclaimed writers at work today

“For artists in need of a creative fix, Light the Dark is as good as a visit from the divine muse.” –Bookpage

What inspires you? That’s the simple, but profound question posed to forty-six renowned authors in LIGHT THE DARK. Each writer begins with a favorite passage from a novel, a song, a poem—something that gets them started and keeps them going with the creative work they love. From there, incredible lessons and stories of life-changing encounters with art emerge, like how sneaking books into his job as a night security guard helped Khaled Hosseini learn that nothing he creates will ever be truly finished. Or how a college reading assignment taught Junot Díaz that great art can be a healing conversation, and an unexpected poet led Elizabeth Gilbert to embrace an unyielding optimism, even in the face of darkness. LIGHT THE DARK collects the best of The Atlantic‘s much-acclaimed “By Heart” series edited by Joe Fassler and adds brand new pieces, each one paired with a striking illustration. Here is a guide to creative living and writing in the vein of Daily Rituals, Bird by BirdDraft No. 4, and Big Magic for anyone who wants to learn how great writers find inspiration—and to find some of your own.

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: Elizabeth Gilbert, Junot Díaz, Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Aimee Bender, Mary Gaitskill, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Roxane Gay, Angela Flournoy, Jonathan Franzen, Yiyun Li, Leslie Jamison, Claire Messud,  Edwidge Danticat, David Mitchell, Khaled Hosseini, Ayana Mathis, Kathryn Harrison, Azar Nafisi,  Hanya Yanagihara, Jane Smiley, Nell Zink, Emma Donoghue, Jeff Tweedy, Eileen Myles, Maggie Shipstead, Sherman Alexie, Andre Dubus III, Billy Collins, Lev Grossman, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Charles Simic, Jim Shepard,  T.C. Boyle, Tom Perrotta, Viet Thanh Nguyen, William Gibson, Mark Haddon, Ethan Canin, Jesse Ball, Jim Crace, and Walter Mosley.

“As [these authors] reveal what inspires them, they, in turn, inspire the reader, all while celebrating the beauty and purpose of art.” –Booklist



Price: $17.00 $11.55

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Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom

Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom

New HarvestPrice: $15.34 Free Shipping




In this frank and witty memoir, Ken Ilgunas lays bare the existential terror of graduating from the University of Buffalo with $32,000 of student debt. Ilgunas set himself an ambitious mission: get out of debt as quickly as possible. Inspired by the frugality and philosophy of Henry David Thoreau, Ilgunas undertook a 3-year transcontinental jour¬ney, working in Alaska as a tour guide, garbage picker, and night cook to pay off his student loans before hitchhiking home to New York.

Debt-free, Ilgunas then enrolled in a master’s program at Duke University, determined not to borrow against his future again. He used the last of his savings to buy himself a used Econoline van and outfitted it as his new dorm. The van, stationed in a campus parking lot, would be more than an adventure—it would be his very own “Walden on Wheels.”

Freezing winters, near-discovery by campus police, and the constant challenge of living in a confined space would test Ilgunas’s limits and resolve in the two years that followed. What had begun as a simple mission would become an enlightening and life-changing social experiment. Walden on Wheels offers a spirited and pointed perspective on the dilemma faced by those who seek an education but who also want to, as Thoreau wrote, “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”





Price: $15.95

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On Writing Well Audio Collection

On Writing Well Audio Collection

HarperAudioPrice: $9.95




This expanded audio collection presents William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, the classic teaching book that has sold more than 1 million copies, together with a new 90-minute section that tells you how to write a memoir.

Based on a course that Zinsser taught at Yale, On Writing Well has long been praised by writers, teachers, and students for its sound advice, its clarity, and the warmth of its style. It’s for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day. Whether you want to write about people and places, science and technology, business, sports, or the arts, this is the definitive guide to the craft of nonfiction.

Part II of this collection, on memoir, personal history, and family history, tells you in helpful detail how to write the story of your life: who you are, who you once were, and what heritage you come from. Throughout, Zinsser refers to the work of many successful memoir writers, including Frank McCourt, Annie Dillard, Russell Baker, and Eudora Welty, to demonstrate how they solved the problems of selection, compression, focus, and tone that every memoir writer struggles with.





Price: $10.26 $9.95

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Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Flatiron BooksPrice: $5.95 Free Shipping




#1 New York Times Bestseller

In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest:

“I’ve often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people’ also might never understand. And that’s what Furiously Happy is all about.”

Jenny’s readings are standing room only, with fans lining up to have Jenny sign their bottles of Xanax or Prozac as often as they are to have her sign their books. Furiously Happy appeals to Jenny’s core fan base but also transcends it. There are so many people out there struggling with depression and mental illness, either themselves or someone in their family―and in Furiously Happy they will find a member of their tribe offering up an uplifting message (via a taxidermied roadkill raccoon). Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ostensibly was about embracing your own weirdness, but deep down it was about family. Furiously Happy is about depression and mental illness, but deep down it’s about joy―and who doesn’t want a bit more of that?

Flatiron Books



Price: $17.99 $5.95

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The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life

The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life

KnopfPrice: $15.38 Free Shipping




“It turns out that Russo the nonfiction writer is a lot like Russo the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. He is affably disagreeable, wry, idiosyncratic, vulnerably bighearted, a craftsman of lubricated sentences.”—Jay Fielden, New York Times Book Review

A master of the novel, short story, and memoir, the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Everybody’s Fool now gives us his very first collection of personal essays, ranging throughout writing and reading and living.

In these nine essays, Richard Russo provides insight into his life as a writer, teacher, friend, and reader. From a commencement speech he gave at Colby College, to the story of how an oddly placed toilet made him reevaluate the purpose of humor in art and life, to a comprehensive analysis of Mark Twain’s value, to his harrowing journey accompanying a dear friend as she pursued gender-reassignment surgery, The Destiny Thief reflects the broad interests and experiences of one of America’s most beloved authors. Warm, funny, wise, and poignant, the essays included here traverse Russo’s writing life, expanding our understanding of who he is and how his singular, incredibly generous mind works. An utter joy to read, they give deep insight into the creative process from the prospective of one of our greatest writers.



Price: $25.95 $15.38

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Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life

Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life

Loving Healing PressPrice: $21.95 Free Shipping




Writing for Bliss is most fundamentally about reflection, truth, and freedom. With techniques and prompts for both the seasoned and novice writer, it will lead you to tap into your creativity through storytelling and poetry, examine how life-changing experiences can inspire writing, pursue self-examination and self-discovery through the written word, and, understand how published writers have been transformed by writing.

    ******

“Writing for Bliss is about the profound ways in which we may be transformed in and through the act of writing. I am grateful to Diana Raab for sharing it, and I trust that you will feel the same as you read on. May you savor the journey.”
–from the foreword by MARK FREEMAN, PhD


DIANA RAAB, MFA, PhD, is an award-winning poet, memoirist, speaker, educator, and survivor. She’s the author of nine books and more than one thousand articles and poems. She lives in Southern California. Learn more at DianaRaab.com

From Loving Healing Press LHPress.com




Price: $21.95

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My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now

KnopfPrice: $18.76 Free Shipping




The beloved author Peter Mayle, champion of all things Provence, here in a final volume of all new writing, offers vivid recollections from his twenty-five years in the South of France–lessons learned, culinary delights enjoyed, and changes observed.

Twenty-five years ago, Peter Mayle and his wife, Jennie, were rained out of a planned two weeks on the Côte d’Azur. In search of sunlight, they set off for Aix-en-Provence; enchanted by the world and life they found there, they soon decided to uproot their lives in England and settle in Provence. They have never looked back. As Mayle tells us, a cup of café might now cost three euros–but that price still buys you a front-row seat to the charming and indelible parade of village life. After the coffee, you might drive to see a lavender field that has bloomed every year for centuries, or stroll through the ancient history that coexists alongside Marseille’s metropolitan bustle. Modern life may have seeped into sleepy Provence, but its magic remains.

With his signature warmth, wit, and humor–and twenty-five years of experience–Peter Mayle is a one-of-a-kind guide to the continuing appeal of Provence. This thoughtful, vivid exploration of life well-lived, à la Provence, will charm longtime fans and a new generation of readers alike.



Price: $25.00 $18.76

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Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More

Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More

Da Capo Lifelong BooksPrice: $13.59 Free Shipping




For more than 15 years, writing coach, editor, and blogger Dianne Jacob has taught food lovers how to take their passion from the plate to the page. Now, Jacob has revised and updated her award-winning guide. Whether you’ve been writing for years or are just starting out, Will Write for Food offers what you need to know to succeed and thrive, including:

– A new chapter dedicated to making an income from food writing
– Updated information about self-publishing and cookbook production
– Tips on creating and sustaining an irresistible blog with gorgeous photos
– The keys to successful freelancing and reviewing
– Advice from award-winning writers, editors, and agents
– Engaging, fun writing exercises to get the juices flowing
Da Capo Lifelong Books



Price: $16.99 $13.59

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