Memoir, Biography & Autobiography


SESHETA: Database of Africana Autobiography: enhances narrative research: reading and writing life stories for empowerment.  Every woman has an epic story and through humanistic life history research, we narrate our backgrounds, battles, and lessons. In the tradition of Sesheta, our stories are as numerous as the spots on a librarian’s leopard print dress.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, Live from Death Row

African-American Autobiography and White Identity, edited by William L. Andrews.

Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

Isabel Allende, Paula

Dorothy Allison, Skin: Talking about Sex

Class and Literature

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure.

Hilton Als, The Women.

American Autobiography, 1945-1980: A Bibliography, ed. by Mary Louise Briscoe, et. al.

American Autobiography: Retrospect and Prospect, ed. by Paul John Eakin.

American Families: A Research Guide and Historical Handbook, ed. by Joseph M. Hawes and Elizabeth I. Nybakken.

Margaret Anderon, Forbidden Fires, My Thirty Years’ War.

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, All Gods Children Need Traveling Shoes.

Lance Armstrong, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

Karen Armstrong, Through the Narrow Gate: A Memoir of Spiritual Discovery.

Autobiographical Memory: Remembering What and Remembering When, ed. by Charles P. Thomson, et. al.

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time.

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind.

Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare and Company.

Anne Oliver Bell, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3.

Biography: Studies in the Literary Imagination (journal).

Ruthie Bolton, Gal: A True Story

Blanche McCrary Boyd, The Redneck Way of Knowledge: Down Home Tales.

Cora Bray, Unafraid of the Dark.

Claudia Brenner, Eight Bullets: One Woman’s Story of Surviving Anti-Gay Violence.

Cora Vail Brooks, The Sky Blew Blue

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth.

Rebecca Brown, The Gifts of the Body.

Susan Brownmiller, In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution.

Phyllis Burke, Family Values: Two Moms and their Son.

Edward Burns, Staying on Alone: The Letters of Alice B. Toklas.

Sharon Butala, Perfection of the Morning: A Woman’s Awakening in Nature.

MargaretheCammermeyer, with Chris Fisher, Serving in Silence.

Kim Chernin, In My Mother’s House: A Daughter’s Story

Crossing the Border: An Erotic Journe

My Life as a Boy: A Woman’s Story.

Pearl Cleage, Deals with the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot.

Lucille Clifton, Generations: A Memoir.

Kate Clinton, Don’t Get Me Started.

Nancy Cobb, In Lieu of Flowers: A Conversation for the Living.

Colette, Centuries Great and Small

The Pure and the Impure

Cheri and the Last of Cheri

My Mother’s House

Sido, The Vagabond.

Martin Conway, Autobiographical Memory: An Introduction.

HarlonDalton, Racial Healing: Confronting the Fear Between Blacks and Whites.

Siobhan Darrow, Flirting with Danger: Confessions of a Reluctant War Reporter.

Simone deBeauvoir, A Very Easy Death

Memoires of a Dutiful Daughter

Force of Circumstance.

Barbara Deming, We Cannot Live Without Our Lives.

ToiDerricotte, The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey.

Robb Forman Dew, The Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out.

Mark Doty, Heaven’s Coast: A Memoir.

Firebird: A Memoir.

Irving Drutman, ed., Paris was Yesterday,

Janet Flanner’s World

London was Yesterday.

Marguerite Duras, The War: A Memoir.

Terry Eagleton, The Gatekeeper.

AmeilaEarhart, The Fun of It: Random Records of My Own Flying and of Women in Aviation.

Elizabeth Ehrlich, Miriam’s Kitchen: A Memoir.

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed.

Helen Epstein, Where She Came Through

Children of the Holocaust

Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues.

AntwoneQuentin Fisher, Finding Fish: A Memoir.

M.F.K. Fisher, Stay with Me, Oh Comfort Me: Journals and Stories

To Begin Again: Stories and Memoirs.

Kenny Fries, Body, Remember: A Memoir.

Alexandra Fuller, Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.

Angelica Garnett, Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood.

Henry Louise Gates, Colored People: A Memoir.

Jeremy Geffen, Journey Through Cancer

Elsa Gidlow, I Come With My Songs.

Natalie Goldberg, A Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America.

Emma Goldman, Living My Life in Two Volumes.

Cynthia Gorney, “A Sex-Change Oddyssey,” Harper’s Bazaar, Sept. 1994.

Vivian Gornick, Fierce Attachments

Temple Grandin, Emergence: Labeled Autistic.

Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face.

Jesse Green, The Velveteen Father: An Unexpected Journey to Parenthood.

ShirleeTaylor Haizlip, The Sweeter the Juice: A Family Memoir in Black and White.

H.D., Bid Me To Live: A Madrigal


Eddy Harris, South of Haunted Dreams: A Memoir.

Elva Trevino Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child.

EttyHillesum, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum.

Carolyn G. Heilbrun, Writing a Woman’s Life.

John Hockenberry, Moving Violations: A Memoir.

Dan Hofstadter, trans., My Life by George Sand.

EndeshaIda Mae Holland, From the Mississippi Delta: A Memoir.

Amber Hollibaugh, My Dangerous Desires: a queer girl dreaming her way home.

Linda Hogan, The Woman Who Watches Over the World


Carol Holly, Intensely Family: The Inheritance of Family Shame and the Autobiographies of Henry James.

bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

Killing Rage: Ending Racism.

Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood.

Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life.

Remembered Rapture:The Writer at Work.

Marie Howe and Michael Klein, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic.

Noelle Howey, Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods – My Mother’s, My Father’s, and Mine.

I Have Arrived Before My Words: Autobiographical Writing by Homeless Women, ed. by Deborah Pugh, Jeanie Tietjen.

Imagined Childhoods: Self and Society in Autobiographical Accounts, ed. by Marianne Gullestad.

Christopher Isherwood, My Guru and His Disciple, Where Joy Resides.

Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Shirley Jackson, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons.

Alexandra Johnson, Leaving a Trace.

Lisa Jones, Bulletproof Diva: Tales of Race, Sex and Hair.

June Jordan, Solder: A Poet’s Childhood.

Christine Jorgenson, Christine Jorgenson: A Personal Autobiography.

Alice Kaplan, French Lessons: A Memoir.

Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted.

Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Barbara Kingslover, High Tide in Tucson, Small Wonders: Essays.

Michael Klein, Track Conditions.

John Kotre, White Gloves: How We Create Ourselves Through Memory.

Andrew Kopkind, The Thirty Years’ War: Dispatches and Diversions of a Radical Journalist 1965-94.

Madeline L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet: The Crosswicks Journal – Book 1; A Two-Part Invention.

Carlton Lake, Confessions of a Literary Archaeologist.

Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith.

Jeanne Marie Laska, Fifty Acres and Poodle: A story of Love, Livestock and Finding Myself on a Farm.

Jennifer Lauck, Blackbird.

Jane Lazarre, The Mother Knot, Beyond the Whiteness of White: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons.

VioletteLeDuc, La Batarde.

Doris Lessing, Under My Skin: Volume One of my Autobiography to 1949.

Wendy Lesser, Nothing Remains the Same.

Life-Writing: A Glossary of Terms in Biography, Autobiography, and Related Forms, ed. by Donald J. Winslow.

Sara Lawrence Lightfood, Balm in Gilead: Journey of a Healer.

Andrew Freud Loewenstein, This Place.

AudreLorde, A Burst of Light

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name,

The Cancer Journals.

Mabel Dodge Luhan, Winter in Taos.

JackiLyden, Daughter of the Queen of Sheba: A Memoir.

Marcus Mabry, White Bucks and Black-Eyed Peas: Coming of Age Black in White America.

Nancy Mairs, Ordinary Time, Voice Lessons: ON Becoming a (Woman) Writer,

Waist-High in the World: A life Among the Nondisabled,

Carnal Knowledge.

Eric Marcus, Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights 1945-90: An Oral History.

Beryl Markam, West with the Night.

James McBride, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother.

Richard McDougall, trans., The Very Rich Hours of Adrienne Monnier.

Margaret Mead, Blackberry Winter: My Earlier Years.

Memory and Narrative: The Weave of Life-Writingby James Olney.

Patrick Merla, ed., Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories.

James Merrill, A Different Person: A Memoir.

Paul Monette, Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story

Barrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir

Last Watch of the Night: Essays too Personal and Otherwise.

Pat Mora, House of Houses

Cherrie Morago, Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood.

Jan Morris, Conundrum: An Extraordinary Narrative of Transsexualism.

NataliaDanesi Murray, ed., Darlinghissima: Letters to a Friend Janet Flanner.

Nasdijj, the blood runs like a river through my dreams: a memoir.

Jill Nelson, Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience, Straight, no Chaser: How I Became A Grown-up Black Woman.

Joan Nestle, Restricted Country.

AnaisNin, Four-Chambered Heart.

Barrack Obama, Dreams of My Father.

Gregory Orr, The Blessing.

Clarence Page, Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race and Identity.

Tim Page, ed., The Diaries of Dawn Powell 1931-65.

Jay Parini, ed., The Norton Book of American Autobiography.

Gwendolyn M. Parker, Trespassing: My Sojourn in the Halls of Privilege.

Ruth Picardie, Before I Saw Goodbye: Recollections and Observations from One Woman’s Final Year.

Minnie Bruce Pratt, S/HE.

John Preston, Franny, the Queen of Provinceton.

My Life as a Pornographer and Other Indecent Acts.

Winter’s Light: Reflections of a Yankee Queer.

Man Ray, Self-Portrait.

Ruth Ray, Beyond Nostalgia: Aging and Life-Story Writing.

DelphineRed Shirt, Bead on an Anthill.

Remembering Our Past: Studies in Autobiographical Memory, edited by David C. Rubin.

Remembering the Personal Past: Descriptions of Autobiographical Memoryby Bruce M. Ross.

Ruth Reichl, Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table

Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table.

Adrienne Rich, What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics.

Of Women Born.

Renee Richards, with Jack Ames, Second Serve.

Waverly Root, The Paris Edition: The Autobiography of Waverly Root.

Will Roscoe, ed., Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology.

Joni Rodger, Bald in the Land of Big Hair.

Martine Rothblatt, The Apartheid of Sex: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender.

Dora Russell, The Dora Russell Reader: 57 Years of Writing and Journalism 1925-82.

Mark Salzman, True Notebooks.

Edward Said, Out of Place: A Memoir.

Don Saliers and Emily Saliers, A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice.

May Sarton, Mrs Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing.

Judy Scales-Trent, Notes of a White Black Woman: Race, Color, Community.

Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm.

Sarah Schulman, My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years.

Dan Schapiro, Mom’s Marijuana: Love, Life and Beating the Odds.

Alice Seibel, Lucky.

William Shawn, ed., Paris Journal 1944-65 Janet Flanner, Volume Two also.

JeneferShute, Life Size.

Lauren Slater, Welcome to My Country, The Prozac Diary, Lying.

Agnes Smedley, Daughter of Earth.

Lillian Smith, Memory of a Large Christmas, Strange Fruit.

Francis Spufford, The Child That Books Built.

Brent Staples, Parallel Time: Growing up Black and White.

Gertrude Stein, Paris France, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

Renate Stendhal, Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures: A Photobiography.

Stories We Hold Secret: Tales of Women’s Spiritual Development, ed. by Carol Bruchac, Linda Hogan and Judith McDaniel

Studs Terkel, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death, Rebirth and the Hunger for Faith.

Eliza Thomas, The Road Home.

Becky Thompson, Mothering Without a Compass: White Mother’s Love Black Son’s Courage.

Alice B. Toklas, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.

Marie Vassiltchikov, Berlin Diaries: 1940-45.

Abraham Verghese, The Tennis Partner: A Doctor’s Story of Friendship,

Loss, My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS.

Renee Vivian, A Woman Appeared to Me.

GloraiWade-Gayles, Pushed Back to Strength: A Black Woman’s Journey Home.

Jane Wagner, Edith Ann: MY Life So Far.

Alice Walker, Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer’s Activism.

Nora Waln, The Approaching Storm: One Woman’s Story of German 1934-38.

Betsy Warland, bloodroot: tracing the untelling of motherloss.

Simone Weil, Waiting for God, The Needs of Roots.

John Wideman, Brothers and Keepers.

Patricia J. Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights.

Marion Winik, First Comes Love.

Jana Wolff, The Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother.

Jacqueline Woodson, Autobiography of a Family Photo: A Novel.

Marion Woodman, Bone: A Journal of Wisdom, Strength and Healing.

Writing as Resistance: Four Women Confronting the Holocaust, by Edith Stein, Simone Weil, Anne Frank and Etty Hillesum, edited by Rachel Feldhay Brenner.

Helen Yglesias, Starting: Early, Anew, Over and Late.

Wiliam Zinsser, ed., Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir.