Thursday, December 10, 2015

THE ART OF MEMOIR: WOMEN WRITE ABOUT THEMSELVES





As social media came more into vogue it seemed that people were more willing to make their personal lives public. However, telling all, or even some, has always been popular for those who write memoirs. Look to the Monrovia Public Library for some of the newest, all from authors who have written previous books.

Mary Kerr, whose bestselling The Liar’s Club, Cherry and Lit detailed her hard luck youth in Texas and recovery from substance abuse, is back with The Art of Memoir.  In addition to being a writer, Karr is a teacher, and in this most recent book she explains how to take the substance of one’s life and write about it.

Gloria Steinem, now 80 years old and the author of the previous Moving Beyond Words, describes how her consistent travel schedule as a feminist and journalist impacted her life. My Life on the Road covers not only monumental places and times (seeing Martin Luther King speak, spending time with Cesar Chavez and being on stage with vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro), but also the thoughts expressed by fellow travelers on airplanes and in diners. Steinem also comments about how being on the road keeps her involved in the present and not just the past.
Celebrity memoirs have always intrigued. Musician Patti Smith, whose last book Just Kids, about her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe, has a new memoir called M Train.  Smith’s background as a poet shines in the collection of reflections. 

Hilarious writer and television actress Mindy Kaling is known for her sharp observations of modern life. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? introduced us to her world. Why Not Me? is a collection of essays that is a more personal look at her life.

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