So many memoir writers visit Memory Writers Network wanting to announce their memoirs. I’ve created this page to give you a chance to do just that. Please add a comment to this page, briefly describing your book and providing a link to it.
Only one comment per book
Keep the synopsis reasonably short. (Maybe 100 words or thereabouts.)
No spam or links to sites other than ones directly related to your memoir.
Office friendly. If the book or site are too sexy, I may not approve the comment.
Many thanks Jerry for including Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps, my memoir that reads more like an adventure book. https://www.amazon.com/Follow-Tigermans-Footsteps-Adventurous-Expat-ebook/dp/B01LYNDT8X
Best regards Colin Guest
The Gift of Goodbye by Rebecca Munn
Rebecca Whitehead Munn, mother of two children under the age of five, was going through a divorce when she discovered that her mother, 3,000 miles away, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Over the next three years she would grapple with those two major life changes that left her transformed forever.
In this powerful memoir, Rebecca shares how this experience led to a heart-opening expansion and encourages readers to believe that they, too, can form new beliefs and connections, as well as elevate their difficult experiences to achieve a higher level of authenticity.
Thanks Morgan. This sounds interesting. I notice that it is only available for preorder and will be published mid-July. Come back and say more when it’s published.
Captain Marcott, a dyed-in-the-wool story teller, reflects on twenty-eight years of intriguing Coast Guard stories that span the cold war, the turbulent sixties, and the period of détente with Russia. More than a book of seagoing adventures; you will warm to his tales of family and friends.
His scenic descriptions are crisp and real. You will feel you are with him in an Atlantic hurricane, and when he boards a Russian Factory vessel in the Bering Sea.
Share his encounters with Ernest Hemingway, Perry Como, Jacques Cousteau, Ambassador Eliot Richardson, and discover how Nikita Khrushchev interrupted his life.
Laugh as he outfoxes a Navy blockade and when he stumbles to explain to a Japanese artist why his wedding portrait is wrong.
Feel his family angst when their infant daughter requires delicate surgery.
Military Writers Society of America Review
The View from the Rigging is a fascinating and fun memoir of Captain Richard Marcott’s twenty-eight-year career in the Coast Guard. His encounters and experiences with people ranging from Okinawan peasants to Ernest Hemingway—as well as numerous personal ups and downs—are richly told. At every level, The View from the Rigging is a success.
Review by Dwight Jon Zimmerman, MWSA President & Reviewer
This sounds fascinating, Dick. Thanks for letting us know. You have had the privilege to lead a picturesque, complex life. I’m so glad you have chosen to write your story!!
Thank you Jerry. Appreciate you help in getting this posted.
As a bereavement care specialist, Dr. Virginia Simpson has devoted her career to counseling individuals and families grappling with illness, death, and grieving. But when her own mother is diagnosed with a lie-threatening condition, Virginia arranges for Ruth to move in with her and is caught off guard by the storm of emotions she experiences when she is forced to inhabit the role of caregiver.
In the award winning The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother-Daughter Love at the End of Life, Simpson takes readers along for the journey as she struggles to bridge the invisible, often prickly space that sits between so many mothers and daughters, and shows readers the challenges, emotions, and thoughts many caregivers experience but are too ashamed to admit. Touching and vividly human, The Space Between gives us all hope that even the most contentious relationship can end with nothing between two people but love.
America’s Silent War on Children
David Carr heard the stories of what his father endured as a boy: Fists appearing like unexpected rain, kicks in the side, and nails in his skin. But Carr’s father never set a hand on him.
The cycle of abuse, however, was not broken: Carr suffered mental and physical abuse from the people that were supposed to protect him. As an adult, he realizes that his continuing mental anguish was self-inflicted.
In challenging himself to see his life in a new way, Carr realized that the story of his childhood trauma did not consist of what happened to him. Rather, his story was entirely the way he responded to what happened.
This realization set the stage for him to embark on a transformative journey—one that began as a terrified child—but ended with him as a mixed martial artist and successful businessman.
“The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir.”
The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir is the true story of author Peter Gajdics’ six years in a bizarre form of conversion therapy that attempted to “cure” him of his homosexuality. Spanning decades and continents, The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir is about the dark forces of oppression and the will to survive; its themes are universal: generational trauma, childhood sexual abuse, powerlessness in the face of adversity, self-acceptance, identity, the resilience of the human spirit, and the recognition that we have within each of us a core essence that cannot be killed, or “changed.”
Thank you for this opportunity to share my just released, award-winning memoir.
A Few Minor Adjustments: A Memoir of Healing by Cherie Kephart
Cherie Kephart, a young woman who longed for adventure, traveled the world from the remote villages of Central Africa to the majestic coastlines of New Zealand until a mysterious illness thrust her to the precipice of death.
The persistent health challenges led to years of suffering, during which her symptoms time and again were undiagnosed by well-meaning medical doctors and healers who were sometimes competent, sometimes careless, sometimes absurd, and always baffled. The anguish, the uncertainty, and the relentless pain would have caused many people to simply give up and end their lives—and Cherie came close.
Told with brutal honesty, astonishing wit, and a haunting vulnerability, A Few Minor Adjustments is an unforgettable memoir that will move you with its fiercely inspirational account of one woman’s incredible journey to find life-saving answers. In the end, she finds much more than a diagnosis.
Thanks for stopping by Cherie. This sounds interesting! When I first read the blurb, I didn’t know about your Peace Corps stint. That appeals to me. So I went to look at your site. Wow. Three chapters to preview. Nice. Then I went to the Amazon site. Wow. 53 customer reviews. Nice! I bought a Kindle copy – it’s hard to see when it will rise up to the top of my ever deepening pile, but it sounds like one that should be near the top of my list.
Thank you for consideration, Jerry:
Friends and family expected Ken Cruickshank to continue playing sports, traveling, engaging in mischief, and raising an active brood after he married his soulmate, Karen. Indeed, all was proceeding to plan until an invisible enemy strengthened its grip on his body and mind. Goals, abilities, and many dreams grew forever affected by progressive disease. After an accident crumpled his weakened body, he dug deep to rediscover the optimism and hope he’d once considered his essence. He realized that the illness he blamed for stealing his identity was also the path to wisdom and a life of fulfillment.
Thanks for stopping by Ken. I checked out your memoir – the topic intrigues me – normal life can be so difficult in so many ways – but throwing MS in on top of the other trials and tribulations and it seems overwhelming. I have often claimed that through memoir, we can find and share our humanity, in the face of unspeakable obstacles. But those positive perspectives don’t come easy. The ability to communicate hope and even inspiration requires a lot of profound work – inner work, spiritual work, philosophical work, literary work – it all adds up to help the rest of us find our way through our own challenges. It looks like you did that work. I ordered a copy of the book and look forward to reading it.
Question for all: Which stories (memoirs) of your life will make it to your obituary? Family members may be listed, but which friends will?
Will lessons learned find a place? Will disappointments find a place? What stories of you life make the cut?
What is the headline? Will it be closed out listing will funeral services will be held? What epitaph gets carved into your gravestone? You will have one, right, even if cremated?
Was it, Nothing Special – Just A life, or is there more to the story? What in a memoir ties it together?
Hello from Randyl Johnson, working on my first memoir and just learning WORD PRESS at age 69. I thank author/writer Jenni Ogden (“A Drop in the Ocean”) for her reference to this wonderful website. I look forward to being published someday and love reading others’ memoirs.
Thank you Jerry for this wonderful opportunity and for your consideration.
Ordinary Magic: Promises I Kept to My Mother Through Life, Illness, and a Very Long Walk
Ordinary Magic: Promises I Kept to My Mother Through Life, Illness, and a Very Long Walk (Mascot Books) starts with a funny and moving story of one of my many journeys with my indomitable mother. When Mom’s cancer returned in 2010, she wanted to make some meaning for herself, so we went on a vision quest across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.
But when she could run from the emperor of all maladies no longer, we began the Last Camino, around her bed, and, just as we had during the Camino, I wrote about our path as it unfolded. The Last Camino becomes a deeply felt meditation on the true meanings of love, courage, manhood, and the lovingkindness (even duty) of being present to those who are dying. Best-selling memoirist Julia Scheeres called it “an epic love letter”.
To my knowledge it’s also the only real-time telling on the subject of living and dying of its kind — no intrusion of later Memory or Poetry, expertise or hindsight fearlessness — and the account must be even rarer for being largely unsentimental and laugh-out-loud funny. The resulting story of loyalty, resilience, and a powerful woman, whose last words were “God, I’m going to a hotel,” has already had a significant and wonderfully positive impact on readers: https://www.ordinarymagicbook.com/what-readers-say/
“Craving Normal,” by Michele Miles Gardiner. Coming soon!
Living in a rock hut on a nude beach, staying in a religious commune, facing an angry man with a gun, riding camels, hiding her freaky health food lunches from lucky Twinkie eaters – Michele didn’t experience any of this when her family lived in the suburbs of San Francisco. Then came the counterculture revolution. Her entire life changed: Michele’s young parents sold their home, bought a car and trailer over-seas and took her and her little sister to explore the world.
Thanks, Jerry! Glad to have found you.
Thanks for finding the site and leaving a comment. And congratulations for finishing your book. I imagine it has taken you a lifetime of rebuilding and reframing to find your own authentic truth. And if you are like most other memoir writers, writing the story has helped you find those truths.
I was 20 during the misnamed “summer of love” – what an odd time to be alive and 20 and seeking. Trying to go back in time and find my own story has taken me most of my adult life. Discovering how to turn those memories into a book was my impetus for getting involved in the Memoir Revolution.
Thank you for adding your voice to the literature of that psychologically rich, complex, and troubled social movement.
“Fortune Favors the Bold: A Woman’s Odyssey through a Turbulent Century” is the story of my mother’s amazing life.
In the early twentieth century, a teenage Greek girl in Constantinople loses both her parents and, together with her younger sister, gets thrown into a massive population exchange between Greece and Turkey. She ends up in a refugee camp in northern Greece. With determination she creates a life in her new country, becoming a teacher in a small mountain town near Greece’s northwestern borders with Albania and Yugoslavia. She meets and marries a young lawyer from a historic and tragic Macedonian family.
Her story extends through a century of war and peace and is peppered with likable characters, horrific events, and a love story. Among the protagonists are two strong women, a charming and indomitable man, and a smart but sickly kid. Now and again her drive, perseverance, and common sense will save the day and reward her with happiness, which nevertheless will come and go like interludes of sunshine in otherwise endlessly stormy weather.
The reader will also get candid and authentic glimpses on poorly known historical conflicts such as the Balkan Wars, the world’s greatest ethnic cleansing, the occupation loan that the Nazis exacted from Greece, the Greek Civil War, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the dispute over the use of the name Macedonia.
Hi Theodore, This looks fascinating. I was trying to understand how it was a memoir (for example Andrew X. Pham wrote a “memoir” for his father, based on their extensive interviews.) But the blurb says it is fiction. Is it based on actual individuals (your family for example) or some sort of composite that you put together through historical research? These mixings of culture, caused by things like poverty, persecution and war are such a profound influence on the people of the world – I love the way memoirs take us inside the first-person experience. I know of another fictional book about Palestine and Arab mixing after breakup of Ottoman Empire (what a tragic mess! and Americans are so poorly educated about it) that does some of what you are doing in yours – Curious Land by Susan Muaddi Daraj – Best wishes Jerry
I was bullied by my brother when we were kids. He was constantly mean spirited, and hurt me, but I loved him unconditionally. This was 40 years ago and it affected me to the point where I recently wrote a book about this. It is named “Bully Brother” and available on Amazon. My story has a sad ending, but a hopeful message as well. I am asking you to consider reading it and would love to get your feedback. Thank you for your time. – Craig
Here is the direct link:
I have 20,000 words so far and feedback has been 100% amazing.Tank Tops and Bellbottoms,Memoirs of a Birkenhead Lad starts in 1954 and covers a wide range of adventures.Tank tops and bell bottoms-memoirs of a Birkenhead lad
I was born in Birkenhead, England in 1954 in Thomas street at the back of central station, opposite the Haymarket and still remember ration books. We were poor, as were everyone we knew, a catholic family, no birth control,(the more kids you had the more Catholics there were, the more donations the church receives). Rather cynical I know but I remember Father Lennon wobbling down our street on his bike and the gossip was “he`s been at the holy wine again” Even so we were always at Sunday mass with the collection plate going around even though we were all hungry. There was always the temptation to accidentally tip it, spill the coins and grab what you could while looking innocent. Yes we were hungry and I don`t remember any fat kids either, or if there was a fat kid the mother would say “its glandular” when we all knew she was getting a food parcel every month from Cincinnati or Ohio. And the kid had a crew cut… We were down by the old Haymarket, I think the pub was the Borough arms and we would wait for hours outside in all weather for our grandad to come out with a little packet with a pickled onion, a cracker and a cheese triangle in it. Heaven. Next door was the pawn shop and Monday morning was your dads suit for seven and six, get it out on Friday.
We moved up the road to Mollington street and that was a little boys dream, real steam trains to play on, a coal wharf and gas works to play in. The steam trains were being phased out for the diesel electrics and were mothballed, perfect to play on. Or we would take the goat chair, line it with last nights` echo and fill it with coal. Yes we were hungry but the fires were lit. We graduated to removing the brassy pipes from the redundant steam trains and selling them to Johnny Marriots` scrap yard. The spanners were bigger than me. He would give us half a crown, the robbing get and we would go to Woolies in Grange road to buy an Airfix kit. I can`t remember which shop, probably Rostances where the toy department was downstairs, me and my mate Sheilsdy were longingly looking at the Airfix kits and dreaming when suddenly he starting groaning and holding his stomach.(He had a big duffel coat on) and staggered up the stairs still complaining about his tummy ache. Until we got outside and he had a Flying fortress up his jumper. I would never have the bottle for that, especially as the shop was like Are You Being Served, yes sir, no sir and all respectful.
On the railway there was a great big turntable for steam engines where one kid could turn a handle and a whole steam engine would turn back the way it was facing. Amazing engineering! We were filthy, hungry and happy. The gas works had a giant mountain of a black sand like substance. It was actually the residue left after coal was squashed into coke, something of that nature, the fact was it stank. After rolling down this hill and being shot at by the dirty Germans or Japs (I killed 20 of them)the next morning the whole school at St Werburghs` was evacuated as a gas leak was suspected. It was me.
Even though the whole world and his dog were robbing the coal from the coal wharf the only one to get caught was my dad. There was even a picture on the front of the Birkenhead news of the police dog that caught him. That was the highlight of the weeks` news then. Three months he got and we had a street party for him when he got out.
One last story about the Railway, we knew where the fog signals were kept.In an unlocked little hut that todays health and safety would have kittens about if they knew. We called them detonators and that`s exactly what they were.Explosives. A 2 inch round cap filled with gunpowder with two lead straps attached. They were for warning trains there was danger ahead when it was foggy or something like that,they were strapped to the railway line at intervals and when the big heavy train went over them they exploded. Loudly. They had to be loud so the engineer could hear them above the noise of the footplate,he would then slow down to a predetermined speed every time he heard one. It seemed to be foggy quite a lot when I was young and we would be pinching them and strapping them all over the place and when one went off during the night we would claim it. Trains were shunted all night and day,I am sure one job description was a “shunter”, us kids would call them something similar when we got chased and they gave up because they were too fat. Or we would climb up on to the top of a backyard wall and drop a brick on one and see who would be the deafest for the longest. I still use that as an excuse when my wife asks me to do something I don`t want to do.
Danny, This invitation to “post your memoir” was intended for memoirs people want to promote. Yours is the first one which offers an excerpt. This is great stuff. Keep up the good work! I love your writing voice, and colloquialisms. You are a great story teller. In addition to awesome stories, well-told, I hope you show a progression through time of this boy growing from poor post-war grit into his Coming of Age as a young man. Coming of Age stories are one of the great genres of our time – I wish yours plenty of success. You may know that American audiences love British accents, and we watch British mysteries endlessly – find an agent who understands our obsession with Great Britain – perhaps you will entertain lots of people with your tales. Best wishes, Jerry
Katherine Itacy was born deformed and, by the age of four, had developed both a dangerous spinal disorder and an incurable disease. Yet, thirteen years later, she’d amassed five state and eight national high school championship titles in track and field.
She’d go on to compete in the Division I NCAA Championships, and, later, graduate fourth in her law school class. By twenty-five, she was operating her own law firm and by twenty-nine, was serving on three boards of directors for civil rights and criminal justice non-profit organizations.
Persevering through hate mail, public ridicule, a death threat, two sexual assaults, and diabulimia, Katherine believed sheer will could get her through anything—that is, until her medical conditions proved that, sometimes, mind over matter just won’t cut it.
RELENTLESS details the lessons that Katherine learned from pushing her body, using her mind, and opening her heart to their absolute limits, from handling successes to devastating failures, from managing disease to overcoming eating disorders, from pursuing her passions to being forced to redefine her identity.
In this brutally honest memoir, Katherine shares her most embarrassing and traumatic moments alongside her greatest achievements and deepest joys to caution, motivate, and inspire her readers.
This sounds an interesting story. It just shows how being positive, (something I myself advocate) can help solve your problems. Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps is my memoir of how from disaster, I ended up living a life most only dream. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VFTJCNL
Wherever the Road Leads, a Memoir of Love, Travel, and a Van, takes you on a stunning two-year van-life adventure. Newlyweds Tom and Katie, an engineer and an artist, meet the rigors of travel and the ups and downs of married life in a Volkswagen microbus that continually needs repair. Surrounded by exotic backdrops from Panama to India and beset by mechanical problems, Tom and Katie drive 40,000 miles across four continents in a world before the internet or cell phones. This memoir describes the couple’s travel experiences, as well as details of van-life chores, marketing and cooking on the road, mechanical problems, people encountered along the way, and intimate moments of love and discord. Wherever the Road Leads overflows with the author’s joy for travel and her devotion to and frustration with her new husband.
Wherever the Road Leads offers a panorama of destinations off the regular tourist track and a glimpse of overland travel in the 1970s. The author shares her interest in cooking and her love of exploring local markets, as well as her fascination with clothing and native dress. The memoir is beautifully illustrated with photos, pen and ink drawings, quick sketches, and hand-drawn route maps. Perfect for the armchair adventurer, this memoir will also inspire those who long for an adventure of their own.
FINDING HEAVEN IN THE DARK – A MEMOIR ABOUT LIFE’S MEANING by William L. Ingram
Finding salvation in the darkness.
William L. Ingram is the name on his birth certificate, but it’s not the name he grew up with or used for the first 21 years of his life.
This award-winning memoir takes a hard look at an African-American son born to an unwed mother during the post World War II baby boom era.
William’s self-destructive rebellion and desertion from the Marine Corps in 1967 turned into a
cross country odyssey that ended on skid row in a Los Angeles rescue mission. As a 17-year old fugitive, he was finally forced to confront his personal demons.
This is William’s harrowing account of his life and how he walked from the path of darkness back into the light. Get your copy of this inspirational story today.
I have about 55,000 words written in Calico Lane: a Family Memoir of Heritage, Faith, and Breaking Social Norms.
History, humor, and heartbreak are all threads in my coming-of-age story while under the influence of a close-knit Russian-Czechoslovakian family’s morals and religious beliefs.
I navigate to understand the differences between me and other girls through early crushes, and the tragic death of a first love–the memory of which impacts my future choices.
?Decisions whether or not to follow my heart were both affected and deterred by conservative parents, formidable extended family, and societal norms of the 1960s.
My goal for completion is Summer 2021. — Judy
Hi, there, thank you for the opportunity!
Looking for the Enter Sign – available here https://books2read.com/looking-for-the-enter-sign
A TALE OF PERSEVERANCE, SACRIFICE, AND HOPE
Sasha’s childhood in Leningrad was happy, sheltered, and in may ways, privileged. But, in the fall of 1989, just as she finds herself on the brink of adolescence, her secure existence is pulled out from under her.
Amid the chaos caused by the impending collapse of the Soviet Union, her family joins the millions of Jews fleeing the country to seek asylum in the US.
Written with care, razor-sharp wit, and an eye for detail, Looking for the Enter Sign paints a heartwarming picture of a family in transit, tracing their steps from their home in Leningrad across Europe to their final destination in Boston. The book explores culture shock, belonging, Jewish identity in the Diaspora, and the meaning of family and friends in times of hardship. Most of all, Looking for the Enter Sign is a story about coming of age under uncertain circumstances, as every stop along Sasha’s journey marks an increasing awareness of the baffling and sometimes cruel realities of a grown-up world.
It sounds awesome Alexandra. I’ve read a number of amazing memoirs of those who have been forced to flee another country, and then “re-find” themselves in the welcoming culture of the United States. Hmm. I’ve read them from Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Vietnam, Somalia (by way of Holland), Ireland, and those are just the ones that roll off the tip of my tongue. What a fascinating sub-genre. All the struggles to ind their place in the “new world” are important, but my own passion is the struggle to reclaim and make sense of their own identities. “Who am I?” is an especially poignant question during the immigration experience. My own grandparents went through this immigration experience early in the 20th century, also from Russia (or Ukraine), but sadly they didn’t leave behind memoirs. I look forward to reading yours.
“Confessions of a Radical Academic: A Memoir” was published in 2020 by Adelaide Books and is available from Amazon (Buy on Amazon)
I discuss my 43-year career as a radical sociologist in a liberal university and how I handled the contradictions of staying true to my principles while trying to survive in academia. In many instances, the radical students tried to push me in one direction while my mainstream colleagues tried to push in another.
Fred, I am interested in this topic, so I looked on Amazon. According to an Amazon reviewer, you have avoided the main pitfall of writing about academia – understandable English! So I checked the Amazon “look inside” feature and read quite a bit of it and found it absolutely fascinating. The McCarthy era, tbe entanglement between communism and Jewish secular culture, (and hence anti-semitism) and your involvement in racial equality are perfect for the current waves of diversity and tolerance in the age of Memoirs. And the tangled mess of politics within education. Great work. I love memoirs. Thanks for leaving your note here. Best wishes, Jerry
The New Zealand Dream series by Sheila
My story from survival to thrive
My name is Elise Brooke, I grew up in Hawkes Bay NZ. My parents moved to NZ from England and South Africa, to create their New Zealand Dream, this quickly turned into my New Zealand nightmare. Writing is a very powerful healing tool, sharing your story can save lives. I have written and published two autobiographies in my book series “The New Zealand Dream,” by Sheila my pen name, I wrote this book to inspire and give hope to others.
My passion is creative writing, I’ve been writing for 24 years in fiction and poetry and content. I have published many articles and guest post and conduct interviews on my website I built from scratch. I am a writing coach/mentor I mentor people who would like to write and share their own stories.
My website is https://www.mynzdreamblog.com One can follow me on Insta mynewzealanddream, face book at fb.me/mynewzealanddream or join us in the group “A journey of transformation.”
A brief about my books
“The New Zealand Dream” is a story and account of my life so far. You take a journey from birth, growing up in a beautiful country town. Moving to the suburbs, discovering New Zealand’s underground in book one “The seeds are sown.” Life has been a struggle and a uphill climb, I was born with learning difficulties that caused me challenges every day. My mother, who single-handedly raised my brother, and I suffered from mental health problems. I dived into the drug and alcohol scene at a young age, growing up surrounded by violence and gangs. I escaped a religious occult, got married and had children. In book two “Growth and destruction,” before I hit the age of thirty, I am a divorced single mother. My support network passed away, and I sank into the world of abuse. I stayed trapped in an abusive relationship for over eight years until one night he nearly killed me and I escaped. You will meet characters you may relate to and characters that will shock you. I will lead you into the world that surrounded me and nearly killed me. In book three I will show you how I changed my world, escaped the traps, leading me here to tell my story.
Sweet: highs, lows and mystic glows (an autobiography/mini memoirs, written in verse)
Shereen Baird has newly turned 20. As she reflects on the beauty and pain of her life thus far as a half Scottish, half Iranian girl growing up in the rough streets of Glasgow, Scotland and in the small town troubles of Northern Ireland, she has the desire to write this book.
All she knew back then is that she wanted to write a book for when she turned 40, and that here she stood between the history of the past and the mystery of the future. She was feeling the push of the pain and pull of the call to adventure, and was driven by the search for Answers, Love, Home.
So she set off on her outer quest travelling around the globe and her inner quest to hell and back, seeking lost family, motherhood, truth, peace and purpose. On her travels she finds exactly what she needs in unexpected ways and learns to harvest the fruits of the journey.
Shereen tells her story in short and direct rhyming poetry. She has a magical way of finding meaning in the everyday ups and downs, and her humour and wisdom shines forth throughout.
“Sweet is a fun, quirky, and multicultural romp—a real and raw account of Shereen’s search for meaning, love and purpose.” ? Kailean Welsh, author of Blazing A Trai
“Girlz ‘N the Hood: A Memoir of Mama in South Central Los Angeles” — This is a one-of-a-kind memoir about life in one of America’s toughest neighborhoods about the African American experience that poet Nikki Giavanni called a “critical piece of L.A. history.”
Tapestry of My Mother’s Life: Stories, Fragments, and Silence is a biographical account of a woman coming of age in Germany during the 1930s. Malve von Hassell explores her mother’s life through the fragmented lens of transmitted memory, and its impact on the second generation.
Born at her grandfather’s house in Farther Pomerania, 1923, Christa von Hassell had to contend with the increasing and pervasive impact of the Nazi regime. As the child of a German army officer, she moved with her parents often. Through boarding school, university, marriage, the Second World War and a new beginning in America, the biography is an emotional journey of childhood, survival and relationships.
The portrayal of Christa’s life also focuses on the role of memory: shaped, distorted, and realigned in the continual process of telling stories of the past in conjunction with silence about many aspects. Children of women who shared similar experiences and life trajectories struggled with the challenge of learning about their parents’ lives during extraordinary times, confounded by a wealth of stories on the one hand and a seemingly impenetrable veil of silence on the other.
Working through such memorabilia, as well as the tales of the past, can offer ways in which one can come to terms with the inherited detritus of thoughts and memories. As such, this account of the life of a unique and complex individual has also wider relevance in that it addresses age-old questions of the relationship between one generation and the next.
Link for biography (sorry, I forgot to include in my comment above): Tapestry of My Mother’s Life: Stories, Fragments, and Silences
Thanks for leaving this comment, Malve. The book seems to tell of an amazing journey of a woman, (and a family) through an incredible period in history. Your life, as her daughter, is certainly part of this story – when I started this journey to understand memoirs, I recognized the power of the first person insight afforded by this genre. But then, of course, these insights into one’s self naturally leads one to wondering about the people from whom we emerged. As you say in your fascinating description of the book, “this account of the life of a unique and complex individual has also wider relevance in that it addresses age-old questions of the relationship between one generation and the next.” I love that. Your work in anthropology intersects with your interest in your own family which has led you right into the thick of the Memoir Revolution. Best wishes, Jerry
P.S. Malve. Does your “biography” “Tapestry of My Mother’s Life: Stories, Fragments, and Silences” contain your first person voice? – many “ancestor memoirs” are written from the point of view of the historiographer – if done with enough insight into the daughter’s need for answers it easily crosses over into the realm of a memoir.
Oh, Jerry, that is a great question. Yes, I tell the story from my point of view, trying to fill out what I know. Admittedly, I didn’t want to make it about myself, although the impact of my mother’s life and that of my father on the second generation figures into the telling. I hadn’t thought of it as a memoir, just as a portrait of my mother. So, to be honest, I don’t have a good answer for you.
I have published two memoirs to date but I wanted to share a memoir I wrote with my two brothers. They didn’t have much choice in the matter as I included their memoirs with mine after they had died.
Our Family’s Story of Survival as POWs in the Phillipines: A World War II Memoir. BookBaby. 2021
We chronicle our lives pre-war talking about what it was like to be privileged expatriate children living in an American colony. It is a story of 3 children growing up in a small social community. This idyllic life was interrupted by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines and our imprisonment in several prison camps for civilians. We were systematically starved. It includes the chapter on our rescue 5 minutes before were were to have been killed and the final trip home to the US aboard a hospital ship. We were welcomed, housed, fed and supported by my mother’s sister and mother. The last chapter describes our experiences becoming Americans.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving this note about your memoir. I love to learn of the effort you put into telling the story of your life as a POW in the Phillipines. What a harrowing time that must have been. And to go on and lead such an energetic, productive life. There are so many amazing people in the world – and I love to learn about some of them by reading their memoirs. For anyone interested, the website URL is https://pamelabrink.com/
“The Decision to Kill: A True Crime Story of a Teenage Killer and the Mother Who Loved Him.” A 16-year-old boy shoots his father in cold-blood while his mother is out of town at a high school reunion. Initially written as a memoir of the mother Cherie, the book morphed into a story focused on Cherie’s relationship with her son. The murder is a sad and tragic one, but is told by Cherie to this author with candor. Cherie explains trying to cope with her son’s addictions and his diagnosis as a sociopath. The son writes from his prison cell about his sexual identity and his search for faith. Struggling for years to forgive her son, Cherie’s message to others is one of hope to never give up on a family member no matter what.
Oh Wow, Leslie. This is so intense. I just looked it up on Amazon – what a labor of love you have achieved here. Amazon page for Decision to Kill The story itself sounds heartbreaking – just fyi another memoir about a child going off the rails is Rachel Pruchno’s Surrounded by Madness – You have broken out of the classic “memoir mold,” first by telling someone else’s story for her (is it a sort of ghost written account?) and the other wrinkle at least for me is true crime – I have read very few of these – One I happen to be reading right now is similar to the one you have written a true crime (murder in the Grand Canyon) about someone else, the victim – Pureland by Pureland by Annette McGivney
Thank you for providing this space, Jerry!
I’m releasing my memoir, Lifeline to a Soul, today. A book I never planned to write, but what a great experience. I wanted to teach business courses and the only place that would hire me was a minimum-security prison. I learned a lot more than my students!
You are welcome!! I LOVE the premise of this book – I have read (and written about) a few memoirs about teaching in prisons – a woman who taught Shakespeare to high security prisoners, (Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard. by Laura Bates) and a guy who taught teenage gang members how to write. (True Notebooks by Mark Salzman) Yours would be a great one to add to my list. (But I only list ones I have actually read and so it might not be right away.) Thanks so much for stopping by. Have you done interviews, describing the process of writing the book? My blog is mainly to help people learn how to write their own memoirs – and reading other memoirs is such an important part of that process. Best wishes, Jerry Waxler