Memoirs by Women

Top 10 Memoirs by Women : I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Eat, Pray, Love, Girl, Interrupted, Bossypants, Out of Africa, Infidel, The Liars' Club, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
AuthorMaya Angelou
ISBN0553279378
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many...
AuthorElizabeth Gilbert
ISBN0143038419
A celebrated writer's irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life.

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an...
Girl, Interrupted
AuthorSusanna Kaysen
ISBN0679746048
In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele--Sylvia Plath, Robert...
Bossypants
AuthorTina Fey
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen...
Out of Africa
AuthorIsak Dinesen
ISBN0679600213
Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen's memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover,...
Infidel
AuthorAyaan Hirsi Ali
ISBN0743289684
One of today’s most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened that she would be next. She made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from the...
The Liars' Club
AuthorMary Karr
ISBN0143035746
When it was published in 1995, Mary Karr's The Liars Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, as well as bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr's comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger's—a...
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
AuthorAlison Bechdel
ISBN0618871713
In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had...
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
AuthorJulie Powell
With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul!

Julie Powell is 30-years-old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking...
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
AuthorAnne Lamott
ISBN0385480016
"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and...
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
AuthorKay Redfield Jamison
ISBN0679763309
i was reading some reviews of the book written by people that disliked this.

i just want to say, that for a person suffering from mental illness, the fact that you know jamieson's full CV and her academic struggles is important. it's more of a - look, she was wildly successful, and dealing with...
Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment
AuthorJeanne Wakatsuki Houston
ISBN0553272586
Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp—with 10,000 other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton...
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
AuthorAlexandra Fuller
In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate....
The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
AuthorAnaïs Nin
ISBN0156260255
What a diary! Definitely nothing like any diary I’ve ever read or written. Anais Nin is truly engaging. Each diary entry is so candid and shows her deeply introspective and artistic nature.

For the most part I’d say nothing truly remarkable happens in the diary; yet Nin is the kind of person...
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
AuthorVicki Myron
ISBN0446407410
How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story...
Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
AuthorAdeline Yen Mah
ISBN0440228654
A riveting memoir of a girl's painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s.

A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph...
My Life in France
AuthorJulia Child
ISBN1400043468
The bestselling story of Julia's years in France--and the basis for Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams--in her own words.
Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television...
Escape
AuthorCarolyn Jessop
ISBN0767927567
The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.

When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man...
Orange Is the New Black
AuthorPiper Kerman
ISBN0385523386
With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before.

But that past has caught up with her.

Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility...
The Woman Warrior
AuthorMaxine Hong Kingston
ISBN0679721886
This was an intense book full of both women's power and violence against women set against the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution and the emigration of many Chinese people fleeing Mao to California. It is a mixture of autobiography and folklore and is beautifully written. Maxine Hong Kingston received...
Truth and Beauty
AuthorAnn Patchett
ISBN0060572159
Ann Patchett and the late Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In Grealy’s critically acclaimed memoir Autobiography of a Face, she wrote about losing part of her jaw...
Autobiography of a Face
AuthorLucy Grealy
ISBN0060569662
I spent five years of my life being treated for cancer, but since then I've spent fifteen years being treated for nothing other than looking different from everyone else. It was the pain from that, from feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor...
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
AuthorRuth Reichl
ISBN0767903382
At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion...
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
AuthorAnne Lamott
ISBN0385496095
Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier...
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
AuthorAnne Lamott
ISBN1400079098
The most honest, wildly enjoyable book written about motherhood is surely Anne Lamott's account of her son Sam's first year. A gifted writer and teacher, Lamott (Crooked Little Heart) is a single mother and ex-alcoholic with a pleasingly warped social circle and a remarkably tolerant religion to...
Paula
AuthorIsabel Allende
Paula es el libro más conmovedor, más personal y más íntimo de Isabel Allende. Junto al lecho en que agonizaba su hija Paula, la gran narradora chilena escribió la historia de su familia y de sí misma con el propósito de regalársela a Paula cuando ésta superara el dramático trance. El resultado...
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
AuthorSimone de Beauvoir
ISBN0060825197
A superb autobiography by one of the great literary figures of the twentieth century, Simone de Beauvoir's Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter offers an intimate picture of growing up in a bourgeois French family, rebelling as an adolescent against the conventional expectations of her class, and striking...
The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom
AuthorCorrie ten Boom
ISBN0553256696
At one time Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that there would ever be a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life nothing at all out of the ordinary had ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in the tiny...
Lucky
AuthorAlice Sebold
In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit - as she struggles...
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
AuthorRuth Reichl
ISBN0143036610
Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town...
Geisha, a Life
AuthorMineko Iwasaki
ISBN0743444299
"No woman in the three-hundred-year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story. We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so, by the robes of tradition and by the sanctity of our exclusive calling...But I feel it is time to speak out."

Celebrated as the...
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
AuthorFiroozeh Dumas
ISBN0812968379
In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father's glowing memories of his graduate school years here. More family soon followed, and the clan has been here ever since. Funny in Farsi...
Jesus Land: A Memoir
AuthorJulia Scheeres
ISBN1582433542
For Julia Scheeres and her adopted brother David, "Jesus Land" stretched from their parents' fundamentalist home, past the hostilities of high school, and deep into a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. For these two teenagers - brother and sister, black and white - the 1980s were a...
The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
AuthorJennifer Worth
ISBN0143116231
Having given birth with the support of a midwife three times, when I heard about this one, I knew I had to make time to read it. The Midwife is the memoir of Jennifer Worth (“Jenny”) and her experiences in the East End Slums of post-war London. I think three things come together to make this a very interesting...
Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
AuthorKoren Zailckas
ISBN0143036475
Garnering a vast amount of attention from young people and parents, and from book buyers across the country, Smashed became a media sensation and a New York Times bestseller. Eye-opening and utterly gripping, Koren Zailckas’s story is that of thousands of girls like her who are not alcoholics yet...
It's Always Something
AuthorGilda Radner
"I had wanted to wrap this book up in a neat little package. I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned the hard way that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end."The world fondly remembers the many faces of Gilda Radner: the adamant but misinformed Emily...
Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism
AuthorTemple Grandin
ISBN0679772898
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible...
The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness
AuthorKaren Armstrong
ISBN0385721277
In 1962, at age seventeen, Karen Armstrong entered a convent, eager to meet God. After seven brutally unhappy years as a nun, she left her order to pursue English literature at Oxford. But convent life had profoundly altered her, and coping with the outside world and her expiring faith proved to be excruciating....
When Rabbit Howls
AuthorTruddi Chase
ISBN0515103292
Truddi Chase began therapy to discover why she suffered from blackouts. What surfaced was terrifying: she was inhabited by 'the Troops'-92 individual personalities. This groundbreaking true story is made all the more extraordinary in that it was written by the Troops themselves. What they reveal...
Not Without My Daughter
AuthorBetty Mahmoody
ISBN0552152161
In August 1984, Michigan housewife Betty Mahmoody accompanied her husband to his native Iran for a two-week vacation that turned into a permanent stay. To her horror, she found herself and her four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, virtual prisoners of a man rededicated to his Shiite Moslem faith, in a land...
The Egg and I
AuthorBetty MacDonald
ISBN0704102471
When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine...
Desert Flower
AuthorWaris Dirie
ISBN0688172377
Waris Dirie ran away from her oppressive life in the African desert when she was barely in her teens, illiterate and impoverished, with nothing to her name but a tattered shawl. She traveled alone across the dangerous Somali desert to Mogadishu—the first leg of a remarkable journey that would take...
Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood
AuthorJennifer Traig
DEVIL IN THE DETAILS announces Jennifer Traig as one of the most hilarious writers to emerge in recent years and one of the strangest! Recalling the agony of growing up obsessive compulsive and a religious fanatic, Traig fearlessly confesses the most peculiar behavior like tirelessly scrubbing her...
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years
AuthorJulie Andrews Edwards
ISBN0786865652
Since her first appearance on screen in Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews has played a series of memorable roles that have endeared her to generations. But she has never told the story of her life before fame. Until now.In Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, Julie takes her readers on a warm, moving, and often humorous...
Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
AuthorNoor Al-Hussein
ISBN1401359485
Leap of Faith is the dramatic and inspiring story of an American woman's remarkable journey into the heart of a man and his nation.

Born into a distinguished Arab-American family and raised amid privilege, Lisa Halaby joined the first freshman class at Princeton to accept women, graduating...
Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
AuthorJenny Lawson
ISBN0399159010
For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
 
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York...
Me: Stories of My Life
AuthorKatharine Hepburn
ISBN0345410092
Like listening to your grandma (your crazy, crazy grandma) tell you stories. Except that your grandma is Katharine Hepburn. Except that the stories are replete with digressions about that candy shop she used to visit as a child(of course, it's been torn down now), and that time she went to Italy with...
Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain
AuthorPortia de Rossi
ISBN1439177805
"I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . ."

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was...
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