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Article Categories Archives: Memoir

On Disability’s Frontier

In The Province Of The Gods is a finely honed philosophical and autobiographical reflection on transcendence and self-acceptance.

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Indigenous Alien

Despite the predictable but disturbing litany of abuse, Ma-Nee Chacaby emerges as a talented visual artist and a heroic survivor who eventually nurtures both children and adults in need.

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More Transitions in Store

THERE ARE many reasons to read Janet Mock’s earlier memoir, Redefining Realness (2014), not least of which is that it serves as a prelude, if not a prerequisite, to reading her new book, Surpassing Certainty.

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If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Huehuetenango

The Black Penguin is a thrilling book not only because Evans survives a bus trip to the bottom of South America but also because the Mormon Church disapproves of his homosexuality—a story that forms, in alternating chapters, a tale as harrowing as his journey to Antarctica.

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Do-Over

The New Old Me is animated by humorous takes on L.A., like the obsession with exercise. Maran describes L.A. workouts as wildly more intense than those of the Bay Area. In her old Berkeley gym, “the first drop of sweat was my signal to stop, sit down, and have a cold drink,” …

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He Needed a Racket

While the earlier parts of Scores are wryly humorous and almost blithely dismissive of the problems encountered in the nightclub’s formation and early success, the book takes on a more serious and suspenseful tone, especially after Blutrich turns to telling the tale of being an informant.

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Short Reviews

Reviews of One Of These Things First: A Memoir, and the movies, Bayou Maharajah: The Life and Music of New Orleans Piano Legend James Booker; Jonathan; and Akron.

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Something about Him

THE FLOWERS were a nice touch, greeting the author of this memoir one day when she got home from work, followed by a romantic dinner, candlelight conversation, and a quiet evening at home. They were all a gift from her husband, who often had surprises for her—not all of them such welcome ones.

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It Don’t Come Easy

Conley writes of his childhood without overwhelming passion, as if composing a grocery list, though the reader can sense otherwise. At the time, Conley felt all the emotions that go with being shamed, belittled, and quietly bullied.

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Mother of Morocco

Infidels is perhaps best read after being introduced to Taïa’s earlier work in translation. In its multiple first-person voices, Taïa has certainly moved into new and challenging narrative territory. Like his previous work, Infidels is short and austere. He has created in Slima a memorable woman, neither a victim nor exactly a martyr. She is a force, seeking salvation on her own terms.

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