Litstack Recs | The Places In-Between & Borne

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The Places In-Between, by Rory Stewart In 2002, Rory Stewart made a walk across Afghanistan from Herat to Kabul. A scholar of Afghan history and language, he aimed in those grave first years after 9/11, to learn “what [Afghanistan] was like now.”  Part memoir, part political and cultural history, Stewart […]

Litstack Recs |Out of Place: A Memoir & Unless

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Out of Place: A Memoir, by Edward Said Edward Said, the prolific author, political activist, pianist,  and music critic, rose to academic stardom in 1978 with the publication of Orientalism, a seminal critique of the appropriations and misrepresentations that founded the Western study of the East. Said, who died in […]

Litstack Recs | Blue Nights & Ormeshadow

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Blue Nights, by Joan Didion Blue Nights is a counterpart to Didion’s 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, which tracks the aftermath of her husband John Gregory Dunne’s unexpected death in 2003. At the time of Dunne’s death, their daughter, Quintana Roo, was hospitalized, in a coma from a […]

Litstack Recs | The Oysters of Locmariaquer, by Eleanor Clark

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The Oysters of Locmariaquer, by Eleanor Clark Late in Eleanor Clark’s extraordinary book, she tells us the oyster needs the same landscape that a plein air painter does: a certain air, light, chemistry. “The explanation,” she writes, “might be quite simple, not esoteric at all—in some common equation of factors […]

Litstack Recs |How to Grow Old Disgracefully: An Autobiography &

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How to Grow Old Disgracefully: An Autobiography, by Hermione Gingold If you’re a fan of classic films, say, Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 musical, Gigi, or classic stagings of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, you already know Hermione Gingold, the earthy actress with the husky voice and wicked sense of irony. Otherwise, […]

Litstack Recs | Dreams From My Father: A Story of Inheritance & Gideon the Ninth

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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 different place in their intersection of the world and experience. As in Jung’s archetypes, fathers are symbols of worldliness and action. They are […]

Litstack Recs | Little Failure & Chosen Ones

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Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart “In order for me to be born,” Gary Shteyngart says early on in his memoir, “all four branches of my family have to end up in Leningrad, trading in their tiny towns and villages for that somber, canal-laced cityscape. Here’s how it happens.” […]

Litstack Rec: Epilogue: A Memoir & Zombie Baseball Beatdown

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Epilogue: A Memoir, by Will Boast Both a remembrance and a elegiac account of the loss of a family, Boast’s 2014 memoir (a recipient of The Rome Prize) tracks the tragic early death of his mother Nancy, the untimely death of his younger brother Rory, and the family secret left […]

LitStack Review: Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan

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Within the Sanctuary of Wings A Memoir by Lady Trent Marie Brennan Tor Books Release Date:  April 25, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7653-7765-4 What a lovely way to end a wonderful fantasy series! Since 2013, with the publication of Lady Trent’s first installment of her memoirs in A Natural History of Dragons, […]

LitStack Rec: Out of Place & Dead Lands

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Out of Place: A Memoir, by Edward Said Edward Said, the prolific author, political activist, pianist, and critic rose to academic stardom in 1978 with the publication of the seminal Orientalism, a critique of the cultural bias that founded Western study of the East. Said, who died in 2003 after […]