Biography & autobiography / Personal Memoirs

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Moonface: A True Romance

by Angela Balcita

The moving and hilarious true story of a young woman who found romance and laughter in the midst of illness

At the age of eighteen, Angela Balcita had reached a point in her life when her health could not keep...


Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo

by Werner Herzog

One of the most revered filmmakers of our time, Werner Herzog wrote this diary during the making of Fitzcarraldo, the lavish 1982 film that tells the story of a would-be rubber baron who pulls a steamship over...


A British Boy in Fascist Italy

by Peter Ghiringhelli

Peter Ghiringhelli's turbulent childhood as the son of Italian Fascist parents saw him deported from England to Italy at the start of the Second World War. Here Peter witnessed at first hand what life was like...


Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour

by Rachel Shukert

When she lands a coveted nonpaying, nonspeaking role in a play going on a European tour, Rachel Shukert—with a brand-new degree in acting from NYU and no money—finally scores her big break. And, after a...


The Road to Burgundy: The Unlikely Story of an American Making Wine and a New Life in France

by Ray Walker

An intoxicating memoir of an American who discovers a passion for French wine and gambles everything to chase a dream of owning a vineyard in Burgundy

Ray Walker had a secure career in finance until a wine-tasting...


My Father's Bonus March

by Adam Langer

To his friends, Seymour Langer was one of the brightest kids to emerge from Chicago’s Depression-era Jewish West Side. To his family, he was a driven and dedicated physician, a devoted father and husband....


Out of the Frying Pan

by Gillian Clark

Out of the Frying Pan is an empowering memoir that traces Gillian Clark’s rise from a beginner to a top chef. But managing a kitchen also taught her about parenting. With a wealth of experience and wisdom,...


The War of Our Childhood: Memories of World War II

by Wolfgang W. E. Samuel

One survivor tells of the fire bombing of Dresden. Another recounts the pervasive fear of marauding Russian and Czech bandits raping and killing. Children recall fathers who were only photographs and mothers...


Lies My Mother Never Told Me

by Kaylie Jones

Her mother was a brainy knockout with the sultry beauty of Marilyn Monroe, a raconteur whose fierce wit could shock an audience into hilarity or silence. Her father was a distinguished figure in American letters,...


Blow-Drying a Chicken, Observations from a Working Poet

by Molly Fisk

Poets notice what other people miss. Nationally-known poet Molly Fisk's singular perspective on love, death, grammar, lingerie, small towns, and the natural world will get you laughing, crying, and thinking....


Books of Adam: The Blunder Years

by Adam Ellis

Adam Ellis knew it was time to leave art school when a fellow student presented her final project to the class: "I put a condom on the Virgin Mary," she announced, unveiling a cheap figurine sheathed in latex....


Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

by Ava Gardner & Peter Evans

The wickedly candid New York Times bestesller that Ava Gardner dared not publish during her lifetime—“the heartbreaking memoir of the ultimate heartbreaker” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Ava Gardner was one...


Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others

by Stacy Horn

For Stacy Horn, regardless of what is going on in the world or her life, singing in an amateur choir-the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York-never fails to take her to a place where hope reigns and everything...


Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir

by Jennifer Joyner

A brutally honest memoir of life as an obese woman—

the pain, humiliation . . . and hope

 

 

Jennifer Joyner was slowly killing herself with food. She didn’t know what to fear more: dying, or knowing that...


Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between

by Theresa Brown

"Doctors heal, or try to, but as nurses we step into the breach, figure out what needs to be done for any given patient today, on this shift, and then, with love and exasperation, do it as best as we can."—from...


The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage

by Roxana Shirazi

The outrageous, yet surprisingly moving, memoir of a girl who fled the Iranian Revolution—and found her salvation in the deliriously sexy life of a rock-'n'-roll groupie.

Honest, provocative, and vividly written,...


Slavery: Where Did It Come From?

by Betty Evans

This book is about the origins of slavery, the many countries that participated, and a few things I personally experienced. Author Bio: I was the second child born to Clarence and Vera Wallace of Evergreen Alabama....


Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America's Radical Right

by Claire Conner

A narrative history of the John Birch Society by a daughter of one of the infamous ultraconservative organization’s founding fathers.

Named a best nonfiction book of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews and the Tampa Bay...


I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Da

by Julie Klausner

Read Julie Klausner's posts on the Penguin Blog

In the tradition of Cynthia Heimel and Chelsea Handler, and with the boisterous iconoclasm of Amy Sedaris, Julie Klausner's candid and funny debut I Don't Care...


One More Theory About Happiness: A Memoir

by Paul Guest

Paul Guest was twelve years old, racing down a hill on a too big, ancient bicycle, when he discovered he had no brakes. Steering into anything that would slow down the bike, he hit a ditch, was thrown over the...