Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New & Novel: Author Biographies

You think you know the story so well. It’s a mansion inside your head, each room just waiting to be described, but pretty much every memoirist I’ve ever talked to finds the walls of such rooms changing shape around her. There are shattering earthquakes, tectonic-plate-type shifts. Or it’s like memory is a snow globe that invariably gets shaken so as to shroud the events inside.
~Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir

We confess to a deep curiosity into the lives of the authors we read. How do they do it? What are their lives like? Coupled with our current reading material, Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir, this curiosity fuels our latest booklist. Mary Karr has so many wise and wonderful quotes about great memoirs - of which her splendid best-selling The Liars' Club is one of our favorite example of the genre - that we wish we could just list them here and call it a day. However, as Karr herself might admonish us, good blogging, like good memoirs, should be "art, a made thing. It’s not just raw reportage flung splat on the page."

While we can't promise all the memoirs and biographies listed - there's a healthy crop of them out at the moment - meet Mary Karr's high standards of being "held together by happenstance, theme, and (most powerfully) the sheer, convincing poetry of a single person trying to make sense of the past," we hope there are a few to pique your interest. We elected to include a few biographies amongst the memoirs because we found the subject matter so interesting.

Without further ado (or Mary Karr quotes), here's a list of some of the newest memoirs and biographies of authors in the library catalog - from an author who moved to another country and wrote her memoir in a new language to a friend's memories of the late, great Nora Ephron to a daughter writing about life as the child of a graphic novelist and the art director of the New Yorker, there's an embarrassment of riches waiting for your perusal!

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