Litstack Recs| How to Write an Autobiographical Novel & A Song for a New Day

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are about the heart of being—and writing, about striving to succeed as a writer, reconciling the pain and trauma of [….]

Litstack Recs: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays & Wintering

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are at their heart about writing—but they are also about striving to succeed as a writer, reconciling the pain and [….]

LitStack Rec: This Boy’s Life and Landscape With Invisible Hand

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This Boy’s Life: A Memoir, by Tobias Wolff  First published in 1989, Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life has become a classic of the contemporary memoir, the kind of book you can finish, like I did, in nearly one sitting. Wolff, the author of numerous works of fiction, including short stories, novels, and a second memoir, has [….]

Litstack Recs: Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood & American Born Chinese

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Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, by Teri Garr Each year, the Academy Awards always generates memorable images, and this year was no exception. There was Billy Porter on the red carpet in his spectacular tuxedo gown, Regina King’s moving acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s fascinating performance of “Shallow.” [….]

Litstack Rec: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel & The Cost of Hope

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are at their heart about writing—but they are also about striving to succeed as a writer, reconciling the pain and [….]

Litstack Rec: The Boys of My Youth & Aurora

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The Boys of My Youth, by Jo Ann Beard When it was released in 1998, I somehow missed Jo Ann Beard’s debut collection of essays, but as luck would have it, I recently fell down an Internet rabbit hole and ended up here, at the first publication of her now iconic essay, “The Fourth State [….]

Litstack Recs: Fairyland & Scribe

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Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, by Alysia Abbott “The truth is,” Alysia Abbot writes in her debut memoir, Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, “I did want to be my dad’s poem. I wanted to be his drawing, his novella, his most refined work of art. I wanted him to shape me with his [….]

Our 2018 Favorite Reads

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From my reading of the past year, some favorites—here a memoir-in-essays and three story collections. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and in the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir, the author dives deep, [….]

Litstack Rec: My Misspent Youth & Santa 17

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My Misspent Youth, essays by Meghan Daum My introduction to Daum and her essays was Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, her account of wanting, finding, losing and finding the ideal home. It’s a memoir of coming into one’s own in regard to matters of money—real estate, mortgages, income and outflow. [….]

Litstack Rec: Dreams From My Father & Time Salvager

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Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama Stories that center on fathers have a distinct place in the memoir genre. For better or worse, fathers hold a place that intersects with the world and experience in a way far different from that of a mother’s. As in Jung’s archetypes, fathers are symbols of worldliness and [….]