These Are Our Favorite Memoirs Released in 2019 That You Need to Read ASAP
Who doesn't love a good memoir?
Walden. Angela's Ashes. Tuesdays with Morrie. Some of our most famous, most read books are memoirs (it won't be long until these 2019 memoirs are also among the greats!). Why is that? Why do we keep returning to memoirs over and over again?
Everyone likes a good story, but there's something special when a story actually happened and we get to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. All the details, all the characters that we know are or were real people -- it just makes the entire book more compelling.
1. The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis
Bridgett M. Davis' memoir, The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers, is an on ode to her mother who did whatever it took to give her children the best in a declining Detroit. For thirty-four years, Fannie Davis ran a numbers racket to send her kids the best she could. When things got difficult, she'd say, "Dying is easy. Living takes guts," and she proved it every single day.
2. All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
Born premature in Korea, Nicole Chung was adopted by white parents from Oregon. Growing up, the story of her adoption was told to as a "comforting, prepackaged myth," that her birth parents decided to make the "ultimate sacrifice" for her to have a better life. But, experience prejudice her white family could never understand, Nicole wondered about where she came from and if there was more to the story.
3. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
Stephanie Land's plans to leave her small hometown for college and become a writer are cut short due to an unexpected pregnancy. She starts cleaning houses to provide for her daughter and signed up for online courses. In her writing, Land wrote stories about the "overworked and underpaid" of the U.S. and the stigma of being part of the working poor while trying to find a path of her own.
4. Camgirl by Isa Mazzei
Like most college grads, Isa Mazzei was broke and unsure what to do next. While working in retail, she got the idea to use her "reputation as a slut and heartbreaker" and use it to make some money. That's when she became a camgirl, doing everything from stripping to making art and broadcasting it online. Within a year, Mazzei was in the top fifty camgirls on a site with thousands of performers. Woven into her memoir is a look the raw and vulnerable, at how we confront trauma and, ultimately, ourselves.
5. Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz
In Ordinary Girls, Jaquira Díaz shares with us her story of always be caught in the middle of extremes. Her home life in both Puerto Rico and Miami Beach was difficult with the splintering of her family and her mother's schizophrenia, but she felt support and love from her friends. She loved her Puerto Rican culture and found little support in it when it came to her sexuality. Díaz struggles depression, violence, sexual assault, and colonization of Puerto Rico in a voice that is raw, honest, and hopeful.
6. The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care by Anne Boyer
Poet Anne Boyer was a single mother living paycheck to paycheck. Then, at forty-one, she was diagnosed with highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. Until now, Boyer had always been a caregiver and, with her diagnosis, it brought forth "new ideas about mortality and the gendered politics of illness." Her memoir not only dives into her own struggles with cancer, but also other women who have written about their illnesses, including Audre Lorde, Susan Sontag, and Kathy Acker.
Let's Keep the Conversation Going...
What is your must-read memoir of 2019?