WHILE GOOD FRIENDSHIP IS NOURISHING, sometimes it is also delicious. Such is the case with my bond with David Leite, whose humor and grace enriches my life, whose writing is simply divine, and whose cooking is damn good. You might know David through his two-time James Beard winning website, Leite’s Culinaria. (Leite, BTW, rhymes with eat. But of course). What you might not know, though, is that David is delicious fun to talk to, which is why when he asked me to make a memoir writing podcast with him, I lapped up the invitation. And I think I hooted. Yup. Hooted. That’s not on the podcast, though much else is. [Read more…]
MARY KARR’S NEW BOOK, The Art of Memoir, came in the mail from her publisher with a lovely letter asking me to read it. Oooh, I thought, now this is a job perk. A free book. Nice. And then I began reading, and that definition of a lifestyle perk swelled to a genuine appreciation that it’s not just the free books, of course, but the access to really good books that make this life the one I fought hard to get. [Read more…]
WHEN I HEARD that Mardi Jo Link had another memoir out I was overjoyed. After all, her most recent book, Bootstrapper, From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm was as much fun to read as the title promised it would be. And now we’ve got The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond time and Chance, and at least from where I sit (and read) all seems right with the world. I invited Mardi to write a piece about how this book came about, and the choice of writing about friends. Here it is. [Read more…]
THERE IS SO MUCH NEW MEMOIR, and so much of it is good, that I cannot stop myself from grinning from earring to earring. This is fine news, folks, since it indicates that the genre is alive and well, despite the effort by some to pull it into the kiss-and-tell and leave it there to languish. Instead, we’ve got some real exploration of human life on this planet, complete with transcendence, humor, insight and – hold the phone – fine writing. Good for them, those diligent writers. Good for us, the grateful readers. And good for all of us who write memoir. [Read more…]
FEW, IF ANY, THINGS MAKE ME HAPPIER than a successful memoir written by someone I like and admire. Perhaps the only thing that comes to mind is if the book is gorgeous, as well. That being the conditions for my happiness, I can only say that I am currently ecstatic to introduce to you The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to Caregiving: A Practical Memoir by Judith Henry. Oh yeah, and it’s funny as hell. Really. Funny. About caregiving. So I asked Judith to write a piece about finding the funny in memoir. Read on. I think you’ll be glad you did.
TAKING ON THE TOPIC of blackout drinking would be brave for anyone, but I would argue that for a woman to do so is a special kind of brave, particularly if she plans to be honest, as well as to do some diligent reporting on the science of the blackout. Apparently Sarah Hepola is both honest and diligent, and in her new memoir, Blackout: Remembering Things I Drank to Forget (Grand Central), she tells it like it once was for her. [Read more…]