Tag: Memoir

The Book That Made Me: Gay

A professor of English and gender studies reveals how one’s identity can be transformed from the most unexpected sources—in this case, sports memoir …

The Last Rock Star?

The most vivid passages of Born to Run recall a childhood that the author seems to have recognized as lost to him almost as soon as he could form a memory of it. Bruce Springsteen grew up “pretty …

Boss Poet

Little has changed since Bruce Springsteen explained the origin of his song “Thunder Road” to a seething crowd at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 19, 1978. “There was this ...

All About My Mother

In her canonical 1939 essay, “A Sketch of the Past,” Virginia Woolf wonders how a coherent past may be reconstructed from countless angles, styles, and past selves. How do we choose from so many ...

Stumbling Over a Violent Past

When Jennifer Teege was 38, she discovered a book in Hamburg’s central library that dramatically transformed her self-conception and her life: I Have to Love My Father, Don’t I? The book concerned ...

Disability Narratives

Ask most people living with a disability to name their least favorite question and “what happened to you?” will be high on the list. “Wanting to educate yourself about disability and learn more is ...

What’s in a Face?

According to Jewish tradition, before each of us was born, we were visited by an angel who taught us all that is known and all that will be known. We were wise, in utero. And then, in the very last ...

Live Through This

I used to refer to my dark times as the IWTDs, when the mental refrain I want to die so dominated my thoughts that I took to writing the acronym in the margins of books I was reading. It was a huge ...

The Bonds of the Sea

What do war journalism and surfing have in common? On the face of it, not much: surfing is a frivolous pastime and war reporting a humanitarian endeavor to shine a light on violent conflict in ways ...

Turkey’s Progressive Past

In her posthumously published memoir, written in the late 1960s, the journalist Sabiha Sertel reflected on her life in exile from Turkey, her home country. She had lived through a period of ...

How to Write About Videogames

I remember his blue-plastic hair, drawn back in a little bun that looked octagonal. I remember the pointy hat that crowned him in the eyes of other players: “Sorcerer’s petasos +1,” the “+1” ...

Show Me Where It Hurts: Part 2

In this second part of my survey of the growing field of graphic medicine, I review four recent nonfiction books about health, illness, recovery and loss. These books vary in many respects—in their ...

The Year of Black Memoir

My first week as a college freshman, in 1990, I sat in W. L. Harkness Hall and listened to Professor Robert Stepto lecture on African American literature. He began with the slave narratives, in ...

The Female Body of Punk

A decade after the Sex Pistols were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the once marginal and vilified punk movement has, for better and worse, been thoroughly assimilated as a major ...