A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
When his parents die of cancer, 22-year old Eggers finds himself not simply an orphan, but also the unofficial guardian of his 8-year-old brother.
Name All the Animals: A Memoir
After her older brother is killed in a car accident, high-school aged Alison struggles with issues ranging from faith (her family is deeply Catholic) to anorexia.
Goat: A Memoir
After surviving an abduction and assault, the author shares the gritty aftermath of trauma and police indifference as well as later experiences of excessive hazing when he attempts to join a fraternity.
Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story
An intriguing memoir in which Gillies is forced to come to terms with the destruction of her picture-perfect life after her husband leaves her for another woman.
Fat Girl: A True Story
An edgy, vivid look at a girl’s struggle against obesity and the cruelty of family and friends.
The Middle Place
Corrigan was still undergoing treatment for breast cancer when she learned that her beloved father, who'd already survived prostate cancer, now had bladder cancer. Her family’s story that she tells in great detail leads up to where she is now, in that middle place, being someone's child, but also having children of her own.
Autobiography of a Face
Disfigured by cancer at age nine, the author shares candidly about enduring years of taunts and insults as she struggled for acceptance in our beauty-obsessed culture.
Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss
The candid story of two brothers whose self-deception and compulsive behavior resulted in their gambling away a $250,000 inheritance in just a few years.
Drinking: A Love Story
Confessional from a successful journalist who interweaves the story of her secret alcoholism (that began in her early teens and lasted until she checked herself into rehab at age 36) with factual information about alcohol abuse.
Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir
Barbara Robinette Moss
Set in the 1960s South, a young girl survives an abusive father, a dirt-poor environment, and disfiguration caused by malnutrition.
Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
Sheff's story tells of his teenage son's addiction to meth, in this real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the family's gradual emergence into hope.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir
Astonishing story of children who survive their parents’ homelessness, eccentricities, and betrayals.
After being violently raped at the end of her freshman year in college, the author is told she is “lucky” to still be alive. This searing story looks at the physical and emotional impact of the assault on the author, as well as the larger social issues.
The Body Broken: A Memoir
Lynne A. Greenberg
After surviving a devastating car crash at 19, when the healing of her broken neck was considered a medical miracle, many years later she again experiences unbearable pain. She is then forced to deal with a medical system ill-equipped to handle patients with chronic pain.
Slater, a psychologist, frankly reveals her own struggle with a variety of mental illnesses and the ups and downs of taking Prozac as she battled towards health.
Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
A compelling look at one of the subtlest forms of child abuse: a parent who makes her child sick in order to gain attention and approval.
An insightful look at “normal” behavior and insanity told through a series of essays depicting the author’s two-year stay in a mental institution.
Life Inside: A Memoir
The turbulent journey of a woman who was wrongly diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 15, institutionalized for 28 months, and her subsequent fight for recovery and redemption.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Alternating between the comic and the tragic, this graphic novel is a daughter’s account of her complex relationship with her closeted gay father and discovering her own homosexuality.
In this follow-up to Running with Scissors, Burroughs tells the tale of how he checks himself into the “frumpiest alcohol rehab facility for gays.”
The Liar’s Club: A Memoir
Despite growing up in a household filled with violence, drunkenness and abuse, Karr (a prize-winning poet) writes with warmth and wit about her childhood.
Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found
Heartbreaking memoir of a young girl who cares for her dying mother, and then winds up with the classic evil stepmother when her father quickly remarries.
Closing Time: A Memoir
A deeply funny and affecting memoir about Queenan’s great escape from a childhood of poverty in a Philadelphia housing project in the early 1960s.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less
The engaging story of a resourceful wife and mother who, despite marriage to a violent drunk, entered – and often won – advertising contests throughout the 1950s and ‘60s in order to help provide for her family.
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir
A gifted storyteller, McCourt recounts the desperate poverty and loss sustained by his Irish immigrant family.