Family: comfort food or a recipe for disaster? Award-winning storyteller and performer Regi Carpenter brings her humor and honesty to print in Where There's Smoke, There's Dinner.
Regi is the youngest daughter in a family that pulsates with contradictions: religious and raucous, tender but terrible, unfortunate yet irrepressible. These honest tales--some hilarious, some heartbreaking--celebrate the glorious and gut-wrenching lives of four generations of Carpenters raised on the Saint Lawrence River in Clayton, New York. From teenagers struggling to find their identity to disabled veterans grappling with the aftermath of war and change to the complications and sweetness of love between family members, this collection of linked short stories holds the universal message that life's difficulties are softened by love and fortitude . . . and family.
"In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience--the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind." --Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique's JourneyReyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this "compelling . . . unvarnished, resonant" (BookPage) story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to "El Otro Lado" (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to "El Otro Lado" to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. Funny, heartbreaking, and lyrical, The Distance Between Us poignantly captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, reminding us that the joys and sorrows we experience are imprinted on the heart forever, calling out to us of those places we first called home. Also available in Spanish as La distancia entre nosotros.
Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou's debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother's side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age--and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2017SELECTED AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR:
"A book for any of us, gay or straight, who have had to find our family. Maupin is one of America's finest storytellers."--Neil Gaiman
"I fell in love with Maupin's effervescent Tales of the City decades ago, and his genius turn at memoir is no less compelling. Logical Family is a must read."--Mary Karr
In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer.
Born in the mid-twentieth century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin lost his virginity to another man "on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired." Realizing that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor), and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s.
Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, Maupin shares his candid search for his "logical family," the people he could call his own. "Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us," he writes. "We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives." From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who insisted Maupin was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, Maupin tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century.
Maupin recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humor and unflinching honesty, and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America's queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion--and inspired millions to claim their own lives.
Logical Family includes black-and-white photographs.
From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard, a memoir about discovering strength in the midst of great loss--"heart wrenching, inspiring, full of joy and tears and life." (Anne Lamott)
In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and gave real answers; he loved to see Joyce shine, both in and out of the spotlight; and he didn't mind the mess she made in the kitchen. He was not the husband Joyce imagined, but he quickly became the partner she had always dreamed of.
Before they met, both had believed they were done with marriage, and even after they married, Joyce resolved that no one could alter her course of determined independence. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple--to be a true partner and to have one.
This is their story. Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and Joyce's return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss.
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State--and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, St. Louis Dispatch
True crime, memoir, and ghost story, Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba's coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously.
We act mean to defend ourselves from boredom and from those who would cut off our breasts. We act mean to defend our clubs and institutions. We act mean because we like to laugh. Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty. Being mean to men who deserve it is a holy mission. Sisterhood is powerful, but being mean is more exhilarating.
Being mean isn't for everybody.
Being mean is best practiced by those who understand it as an art form.
These virtuosos live closer to the divine than the rest of humanity. They're queers.
Myriam Gurba is a queer spoken-word performer, visual artist, and writer from Santa Maria, California. She's the author of Dahlia Season (2007, Manic D) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Wish You Were Me (2011, Future Tense Books), and Painting Their Portraits in Winter (2015, Manic D). She has toured with Sister Spit and her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. She lives in Long Beach, where she teaches social studies to eighth-graders.
Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi amid poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those around him; at six he was a "drunkard," hanging about in taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was surrounded on one side by whites who were either indifferent to him, pitying, or cruel, and on the other by blacks who resented anyone trying to rise above the common lot.
Black Boy is Richard Wright's powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment--a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.
From American master Richard Ford, a memoir: his first work of nonfiction, a stirring narrative of memory and parental love
How is it that we come to consider our parents as people with rich and intense lives that include but also exclude us? Richard Ford's parents--Edna, a feisty, pretty Catholic-school girl with a difficult past; and Parker, a sweet-natured, soft-spoken traveling salesman--were rural Arkansans born at the turn of the twentieth century. Married in 1928, they lived "alone together" on the road, traveling throughout the South. Eventually they had one child, born late, in 1944.
For Ford, the questions of what his parents dreamed of, how they loved each other and loved him become a striking portrait of American life in the mid-century. Between Them is his vivid image of where his life began and where his parents' lives found their greatest satisfaction.
Bringing his celebrated candor, wit, and intelligence to this most intimate and mysterious of landscapes--our parents' lives--the award-winning storyteller and creator of the iconic Frank Bascombe delivers an unforgettable exploration of memory, intimacy, and love.
Universally praised, Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped confirmed her ascendancy as a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, her Southern requiem securing its place on bestseller and best books of the year lists, with honors and awards pouring in from around the country.
Jesmyn's memoir shines a light on the community she comes from, in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young men dear to her, including her beloved brother-lost to drugs, accidents, murder, and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected, by identity and place, and as Jesmyn dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: These young men died because of who they were and the place they were from, because certain disadvantages breed a certain kind of bad luck. Because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle. The agonizing reality commanded Jesmyn to write, at last, their true stories and her own.
Men We Reaped opens up a parallel universe, yet it points to problems whose roots are woven into the soil under all our feet. This indispensable American memoir is destined to become a classic.
The surprising final chapter of a great American life.When the first volume of Mark Twain's uncensored Autobiography was published in 2010, it was hailed as an essential addition to the shelf of his works and a crucial document for our understanding of the great humorist's life and times. This third and final volume crowns and completes his life's work. Like its companion volumes, it chronicles Twain's inner and outer life through a series of daily dictations that go wherever his fancy leads. Created from March 1907 to December 1909, these dictations present Mark Twain at the end of his life: receiving an honorary degree from Oxford University; railing against Theodore Roosevelt; founding numerous clubs; incredulous at an exhibition of the Holy Grail; credulous about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays; relaxing in Bermuda; observing (and investing in) new technologies. The Autobiography's "Closing Words" movingly commemorate his daughter Jean, who died on Christmas Eve 1909. Also included in this volume is the previously unpublished "Ashcroft-Lyon Manuscript," Mark Twain's caustic indictment of his "putrescent pair" of secretaries and the havoc that erupted in his house during their residency. Fitfully published in fragments at intervals throughout the twentieth century, Autobiography of Mark Twain has now been critically reconstructed and made available as it was intended to be read. Fully annotated by the editors of the Mark Twain Project, the complete Autobiography emerges as a landmark publication in American literature. Editors: Benjamin Griffin and Harriet Elinor Smith
"Brilliant . . . As the pages fly by, we're right by Vanasco, breathlessly experiencing her grief, mania, revelations, and--ultimately -- her relief." --Entertainment Weekly
One of Poets & Writers' Five Best Nonfiction Debuts of 2017 ANYLON and Newsweek Best Book of Fall A Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers Pic
Finally, after four hit novels, Carrie Fisher comes clean (well, sort of ) with the crazy truth that is her life in her first-ever memoir.In Wishful Drinking, adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of "Hollywood in-breeding," come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen. Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It's an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty -- Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher -- homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed. Wishful Drinking, the show, has been a runaway success. Entertainment Weekly declared it "drolly hysterical" and the Los Angeles Times called it a "Beverly Hills yard sale of juicy anecdotes." This is Carrie Fisher at her best -- revealing her worst. She tells her true and outrageous story of her bizarre reality with her inimitable wit, unabashed self-deprecation, and buoyant, infectious humor.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
A National Book Award Finalist
A New York Times Notable Book
In 2004, they entered into a terrifying tale of good people caught up in events beyond their control. Brother I'm Dying is an astonishing true-life epic, told on an intimate scale by one of our finest writers.
"Jam-packed with insights you'll want to both text to your friends and tattoo on your skin....A sweeping view of a human mind trying to make order of the world around us."--Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere
There will come a time when people decide you've had enough of your grief, and they'll try to take it away from you.
Bad art is from no one to no one.
Am I happy? Damned if I know, but give me a few minutes and I'll tell you whether you are.
Thank heaven I don't have my friends' problems. But sometimes I notice an expression on one of their faces that I recognize as secret gratitude.
I read sad stories to inoculate myself against grief. I watch action movies to identify with the quick-witted heroes. Both the same fantasy: I'll escape the worst of it.
--from 300 Arguments
A "Proustian minimalist on the order of Lydia Davis" (Kirkus Reviews), Sarah Manguso is one of the finest literary artists at work today. To read her work is to witness acrobatic acts of compression in the service of extraordinary psychological and spiritual insight.
300 Arguments, a foray into the frontier of contemporary nonfiction writing, is at first glance a group of unrelated aphorisms. But, as in the work of David Markson, the pieces reveal themselves as a masterful arrangement that steadily gathers power. Manguso's arguments about desire, ambition, relationships, and failure are pithy, unsentimental, and defiant, and they add up to an unexpected and renegade wisdom literature.
"Una historia desgarradora sobre el otro lado de la experiencia del inmigrante a EEUU- la penuria y la desolacion de los ninos dejados atras por sus padres." --Sonia Nazario, ganadora del premio Pulitzer y autora de La travesia de EnriqueCuando el padre de Reyna Grande deja a su esposa y sus tres hijos atras en un pueblo de Mexico para hacer el peligroso viaje a traves de la frontera a los Estados Unidos, promete que pronto regresara con el dinero suficiente para construir la casa de sus suenos. Sus promesas se vuelven mas dificiles de creer cuando los meses de espera se convierten en anos. Cuando se lleva a su esposa para reunirse con el, Reyna y sus hermanos son depositados en el hogar ya sobrecargado de su abuela paterna, Evila, una mujer endurecida por la vida. Los tres hermanos se ven obligados a cuidar de si mismos. En los juegos infantiles encuentran una manera de olvidar el dolor del abandono y a resolver problemas de adultos. Cuando su madre regresa, la reunion sienta las bases para un capitulo nuevo y dramatico en la vida de Reyna: su propio viaje a El otro lado para vivir con el hombre que ha poseido su imaginacion durante anos-- su padre ausente. En esta memoria extraordinaria, la galardonada escritora Reyna Grande le da vida a sus anos tumultuosos, capturando la confusion y las contradicciones de una infancia divida entre dos padres y dos paises. Solo en los libros, en la musica y en su rica imaginacion ella encontrara consuelo, un refugio momentaneo de un mundo en el que cada lugar se siente como El otro lado. La distancia entre nosotros capta el paso de una nina de la infancia a la adolescencia y mas alla. Una divertida, lirica, pero desgarradora historia, nos recuerda que las alegrias y las tristezas de la infancia estan siempre con nosotros, impresas en el corazon, recordandonos de ese lugar que fue nuestro primer hogar. Tambien disponible en ingles como The Distance Between Us.
A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie's bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It's these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman. When she passed away, the incongruities that defined his mother shook Sherman and his remembrance of her. Grappling with the haunting ghosts of the past in the wake of loss, he responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is a stunning memoir filled with raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine, much less survive. An unflinching and unforgettable remembrance, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is a powerful, deeply felt account of a complicated relationship. One of the most anticipated books of 2017--Entertainment Weekly and Bustle
The Instant New York Times Bestseller
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
Based on the diaries Susan Branch has kept since she was in her twenties, The Fairy Tale Girl is an illustrated memoir, designed in Susan's trademark style with original watercolors and personal photographs. The Fairy Tale Girl is an ages-old story of youth, innocence, love (and loss), grief, discovery, friendship, and magic that begins in a geranium-colored house in California and ends up, like any good fairy tale, on the right side of the rabbit hole. As we've heard so many times, it's not the destination, it's the journey. So, journey back to the olden days with Susan, to the 1950s and 60's, to the land of Happily Ever After, where men were men and girls were girls (who just wanted to have fun), and bring a hankie 'cause we think you might need it. Susan began writing The Fairy Tale Girl as one volume, but by the time she put in all the details, and her art and photographs, it was almost 700 pages, too big, so she decided to turn it into two books. The second book will be coming early next year, and will be called Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams. Both The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams (publication date May 2016) are prequels to Susan's last book, A Fine Romance - Falling in Love with the English Countryside (2013).
From Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most important African American writers of the twentieth century, comes her riveting autobiography--now available in a limited Olive Edition.
First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurston's candid, funny, bold, and poignant autobiography--an imaginative and exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural south to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.
As compelling as her acclaimed fiction, Hurston's very personal literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life--public and private--of an extraordinary artist, anthropologist, chronicler, and champion of the Black experience in America. Full of the wit and wisdom of a proud, spirited woman who started off low and climbed high, Dust Tracks on a Road is a rare treasure from one of literature's most cherished voices.
"Warm, witty, imaginative. . . . This is a rich and winning book."--The New Yorker
National Best SellerOn a post-college visit to Florence, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri fell in love with the Italian language. Twenty years later, seeking total immersion, she and her family relocated to Rome, where she began to read and write solely in her adopted tongue. A startling act of self-reflection, In Other Words is Lahiri's meditation on the process of learning to express herself in another language--and the stunning journey of a writer seeking a new voice.
"I've struck it!" Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. "And I will give it away--to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography." Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his "Final (and Right) Plan" for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion--to "talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment"--meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent," and that he was therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind." The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twain's works, UC Press is proud to offer for the first time Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. This major literary event brings to readers, admirers, and scholars the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.Editors: Harriet E. Smith, Benjamin Griffin, Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz, Leslie Myrick
"A memoir that shines with a bright spirit, a generous heart and an entertaining knack for celebrating absurdity."--The New York Times Book Review
"This is Smith at her finest."--Library Journal, starred review
Set deep in the mountains of Virginia, the Grundy of Lee Smith's youth was a place of coal miners, tent revivals, mountain music, drive-in theaters, and her daddy's dimestore. When she was sent off to college to gain some "culture," she understood that perhaps the richest culture she would ever know was the one she was leaving. Lee Smith's fiction has always lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story.
Dimestore's fifteen essays are crushingly honest, wise and perceptive, and superbly entertaining. Together, they create an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished.