Memoir – As a literary genre, a memoir (from the French: mémoire from the Latin memoria, meaning “memory”), or a reminiscence, forms a subclass of autobiography
– although the terms ‘memoir’ and ‘autobiography’ are today almost
interchangeable. The author of a memoir may be referred to as a memoirist. -Wikipedia
have read quite a few memoirs this year, about a tenth of the books I’ve read can be counted as such. Right now I am reading
Wife In The North by Judith O’Reilly which will be number 10. I’m having a hard time getting into this last one and I don’t know if it’s because I was expecting it to go in a much different direction than what’s been written so far, or if I am just burnt out on the genre I hadn’t read extensively before this year.
I have read some amazing stories about fascinating and heartbreaking life events (relatives lost at sea, stillborn first children, bi-polar disorder, and midwives living in restrictive communities), and most have been articulate, engaging and well-written. Something about memoirs is elusive to me. I enjoy reading them, yet I don’t know if the form is one that I can fully embrace. They are essentially a less formal version of autobiography, and more specific by nature in that they can concentrate solely on a particular time or events, but somehow I feel more distance from memoirs than with other forms of non-fiction. I’m not even sure that all I just said is true. The definite thing I know is that even though I have read some really good ones, I am still working through how I feel about them.
All that being said Monique and the Mango Rains is a must read. So good. Loved! It’s really quite excellent.
An Exact Replica of A Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
An Unquiet Mind by Kaye Redfield Jamison
The Black Notebooks by Toi Dericotte
The Bookmaker by Michael J. Agovino
bone black by bell hooks
Home Girl by Judith Matloff
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg
Lost by Cathy Ostlere
Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway
I would try and do a year in review post, but it would be too long and
I am just not that disciplined, so I will be breaking these up over the last days of 2008.
Care to join me? Name some memoirs or a favorite memoir that you have read this year? How do you feel about memoirs? Like reading them?
Other Year In Review Posts: