« From the Delmar Archive to Bombingham, Alabama (Part 2) | Main | The Following Description Was Obtained From Personal Observation and Interrogation »

Wednesday, March 17, 2004



How about Kim Chernin's memoir, In My Mother's House. It's about growing up a red diaper baby. Unfortunately I don't own it to lend it to you. There's also that incredible memoir that you got from Louise, Liar's Club. It's somewhere in the house, the writing is killer, and it's also about the author's parents as much as about the author. I have been rereading Journey Into the Whirlwind, since the baby keeps taking it down off the bookshelf. It's a powerful memoir and it incorporates poetry. Of course it's in TRANSLATION! EEEK!


Hmmm... There's the obvious Angela's Ashes (credited with creating a memoir boom in publishing), Antonia White's quartet of novels (starting with Frost in May or The Lost Traveler -- I forget which comes first) is a series of memoirs disgused as novels. So too The Skin Chairs by Barbara Comyns -- really really good. Daughter of Dust (I forget the author's name) was also pretty good. Out of Africa, of course. Ummm, I'd have to go look at my bookshelves and I'm feeling too lazy so I'll leave you with that. :)


um...i think we have your copy of liar's club, via n.l. -- it's in a box somewhere. let me know if you want it. very worth it. more concrete suggestions when i unpack and can browse.

Michael Capanzzi

I've been writing my own memoirs in my blog "Masculiste". I'm up to Chap. 7 now under the title "Father's Rights vs. legal, Judicial Fraud & Misconduct: One Victim's Story...
It's traces my life up to when I was taking care of my head-injured cousin, and then after he committed suicide because no one cared about him, his family and my wife turned on me to get the insurance money that he left me in an inheritance. My ex used my own kids to do it...and the courts KNEW it was going on and helped them do it.
As a result, I almost went on a murderous rampage.
This story comes with pictures as well as upcoming displays of court documents.
Please don't let the combatitive nature of the title and other accompanying posts fool you. I'm not a woman hater.

Vance Maverick

There are a lot of memoirs out there! You don't say much to narrow the field. But check out Edmund Gosse's Father and Son (1907). A literary critic recounting his relationship with his remarkable, eccentric father.


Just finished a book that you might find quite relevant, and will certainly enjoy: _Silver_Rights by Connie Curry. (Jesse also recommends _Deep_in_Our_Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement, from UGA Press -- Em picked up both for us in NC.) Guessing your dad must have crossed paths with some of these folks.

Not a memoir, but a family history/biography written by someone on the margin of the story. Curry was working with the AFSC during desegregation, and worked with the Carter family, the only Black family in their county to send their kids to a "white" school under Mississippi's "Freedom of Choice" policy.

Curry does a great job of letting Mae Bertha's strong voice do much of the narration, rarely imposing her own interpretations of events.

Think you'll find it relevant because of the narrative issues of describing a past which shapes your own sense of self, but also perhaps wanting to get out of the way of the character(s) you're trying to unearth.

Jonathan David Jackson

Sweet Benjamin: have I told you recently how much I love you and cherish our brotherhood? Reading your blog is like seeing the grace that informs all that you do. May God continue to bless you, Aaron and Ruthie.

And now, may I say with no exaggeration, that there is only ONE memoir that you should read and, in fact, it is a POEM as a memoir. It is available through that corporate sycophant amazon.com or through the wonderful Sun and Moon Press via the Small Press Distribution service.

(Oh I do hope you don't have this one already.)

And the title is...

*My Life*
By Lyn Hejinian
LA: Sun and Moon Press, 1987

Of course the book was originally published when she was in her late 30's--I believe 37--in 1980 (hence the 37 sections with 37 sentences in each one). But, she updated this remarkable poetic memoir when she was well into her forties yet she stuck to the same rule-based structure.

How does the everyday-ness of recollection manifest itself in this book? How does the structure resist the onslaught of "I" statements and temporally backward evaluation that is so characteristic of prose life-writing? These are questions that I still ask years after first buying this book in 1996.

This book will inspire you.

Michael Capanzzi

Oh...I get it. You wanted a recommendation of something we read, not omething we're writing...
oops...sorry. Try Salman Rushdie's "Ground Beneath Her Feet." It's a book about rock-n-roll
...to put mildly.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo


  • I assume all blog related email is okay to publish, unless you tell me otherwise.

    Send me email:

    minorjive at gmail dot com

    The views expressed on this site are mine, and those of my guest authors, and do not represent my employer, Physicians for Human Rights.


  • www.flickr.com
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from BenTG. Make your own badge here.

  • Google

    Search the Web
    Search HungryBlues


Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 03/2004