A List of Memoirs

I’ve been asked for a list of memoirs that might be useful to writers who wish to write their own. I have learned a great deal from reading these; dive in anywhere and follow your interests. Happy reading !

  • R. Ackerley, My Father and Myself
  • Meena Alexander, Fault Lines
  • Isabel Allende, Paula
  • Andrea Ashford, Once in a House on Fire
  • Paul Auster, The Invention of Solitude; Winter Journal
  • Kim Barnes, In The Wilderness
  • James Baldwin, No Name in the Street; The Fire Next Time; Notes of a Native Son
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home; Are You My Mother? (graphic memoirs)
  • Dwayne Reginald Betts, A Question of Freedom
  • Sven Birkerts, My Sky Blue Trades
  • Mary Bonina, My Father’s Eyes
  • Greg Bottoms, Angelhead: My Brother’s Descent into Madness
  • Claude Brown, Manchild in the Promised Land
  • Amy Jo Burns, Cinderland
  • John Burnside, A Lie About My Father
  • James Carroll, An American Requiem
  • Lorene Cary, Black Ice
  • Mary Childers, Welfare Brat
  • Julia Collins, My Father’s War
  • Frank Conroy, Stop Time
  • Jill Ker Conway, The Road From Coorain
  • Bernard Cooper, Maps To Anywhere
  • Sam Cornish, 1935
  • Anthony D’Aries, The Language of Men
  • Deborah Digges, Fugitive Spring
  • Izak Dinesen, Out Of Africa
  • Mark Doty, Firebird; Heaven’s Coast
  • Frederick Douglass, The Life of Frederick Douglass, an America Slave, Written by Himself
  • Andre Dubus III, Townie
  • Gretel Erlich, A Match To The Heart
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts
  • Helen Fremont, After Long Silence
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr., Colored People
  • Mikal Gilmore, Shot in the Heart
  • Maxim Gorky, Childhood
  • Vivian Gornick, Fierce Attachments; The Situation and the Story
  • Edmund Gosse, Father & Son
  • Robert Graves, Good-bye to All That
  • Lucy Grealey, Autobiography Of A Face
  • Karl Taro Greenfeld, Boy Alone: A Brother’s Memoir
  • Sebastian Haffner, Defying Hitler
  • Donald Hall, String Too Short To Be Saved
  • Meredith Hall, Without A Map
  • Hugo Hamilton, The Speckled People
  • Patricia Hampl, A Romantic Education; Virgin Time; I Could Tell You Stories; The Florist’s Daughter
  • Dermot Healy, The Bend for Home
  • DeWitt Henry, Sweet Dreams
  • Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation
  • Garrett Hongo, Volcano
  • Ann Hood, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief; Do Not Go Gentle: My Search for Miracles in a Cynical Time
  • Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman
  • Harriet Jacobs, Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl
  • Mary Karr, The Liars’ Club; Cherry; Lit
  • Susannah Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Report To Greco
  • Ivan Klima, My Crazy Century
  • Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle
  • Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz; The Reawakening
  • Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques
  • S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
  • Franz Lidz, Unstrung Heroes
  • Crabcakes, James Alan McPherson
  • Joe Mackall, The Last Street Before Cleveland
  • Elaine Mar, Paper Daughter
  • Robert Mason, Chickenhawk
  • Mark Mathabane, Kaffir Boy
  • Joyce Maynard, At Home in the World
  • Mary McCarthy Memories of a Catholic Girlhood
  • Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes
  • David McKain, Spellbound
  • Susan J. Miller, Never Let Me Down
  • Czeslaw Milosz, Native Realm
  • Paul Monette, On Becoming a Man
  • Martin Moran, The Tricky Part
  • David Mura, Where the Body Meets Memory
  • S. Naipaul, Finding the Center
  • Judith Nies, The Girl I Left Behind
  • Frank O’Connor, An Only Child
  • Sidney Offit, Memoir of the Bookie’s Son
  • Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family
  • Gregory Orr, The Blessing
  • William B. Patrick, We Didn’t Come Here for This: a Memoir in Poetry
  • Helen Peppe, Pigs Can’t Swim
  • Hal Porter, The Watcher on the Cast-Iron Balcony
  • Richard Rhodes, A Hole in the World
  • Philip Roth, Patrimony
  • Richard Russo, Elsewhere
  • Kevin Sessums, Mississippi Sissy
  • Anthony Shadid, House of Stone
  • Lauren Slater, Welcome to My Country; Prozac Diary; Lying; The $60,000 Dog; Playing House
  • Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
  • Suzanne Strempek Shea, Songs from a Lead-Lined Room; Shelf Life
  • Andrea Simon, Bashert
  • Clea Simon, Mad House
  • Natalia Rachel Singer, Scraping By in the Big Eighties
  • John Skoyles, Secret Frequencies
  • Wole Soyinka, Ake
  • Mike Steinberg, Still Pitching
  • Cheryl Strayed, Wild
  • Patrick Tracey, Stalking Irish Madness
  • John Updike, Self-Consciousness
  • Bruce Weigl, The Circle of Hanh
  • Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge
  • Francis Thompson, Lark Rise to Candleford
  • Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle
  • Jerald Walker, Street Shadows
  • Joan Wickersham , The Suicide Index
  • Geoffrey Wolff, The Duke of Deception
  • Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life; In Pharoah’s Army
  • Adam Zagajewski, Another Beauty
  • Zhu Xiao Di, Thirty Years in a Red House
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