Biography, Adventurers and Explorers
Biography, African American
Biography, Artists and Architects
Biography, Heads of State
Biography, Literary Figures
Decades after Julia McKenzie Munemo’s father died, she learned that he wrote interracial pornography. She hid the stack of his old paperbacks from her Zimbabwean husband, their mixed-race children, and herself before realizing her obligation to understand her racial legacy.
Today, the surprisingly elastic form of the memoir embraces subjects that include dying, illness, loss, relationships, and self-awareness. Writing to reveal the inner self—the pilgrimage into one’s spiritual and/or religious nature—is a primary calling. Contemporary memoirists are exploring this field with innovative storytelling, rigorous craft, and new styles of confessional authorship.
When Deborah Gold and her husband signed up to foster parent in their rural mountain community, they did not foresee that it would lead to a roller-coaster fifteen years of involvement with a traumatized yet resilient birth family. They fell in love with Michael (a toddler when he came to them), yet they had to reckon with the knowledge that he could leave their lives at any time. In Counting Down, Gold tells the story of forging a family within a confounding system.
In this lyrical but controversial memoir of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp for Dutch colonialists during World War II, Lanzing enlivens ongoing discussions of the politics of memory and the powerful—if contentious—contributions that subjective accounts make to historiography and the legacies of the past.
Steve Howard departed for the Sudan in the early 1980s as an American graduate student beginning a three-year journey in which he would join and live with the Republican Brotherhood, the Sufi Muslim group led by the visionary Mahmoud Mohamed Taha. Taha was a religious intellectual who participated in the early days of Sudan’s anticolonial struggle, but quickly turned his movement into a religious reform effort based on his radical reading of the Qur’an. He was executed in 1985 for apostasy.
Judith M. Heimann entered the diplomatic life in 1958 to join her husband, John, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at his American Embassy post. This, her first time out of the United States, would set her on a path across the continents as she mastered the fine points of diplomatic culture. She did so first as a spouse, then as a diplomat herself, thus becoming part of one of the Foreign Service’s first tandem couples.
From the 1960s to the 1990s, seven members of the Quimpo family dedicated themselves to the anti-Marcos resistance in the Philippines, sometimes at profound personal cost. In this unprecedented memoir, eight siblings (plus one by marriage) tell their remarkable stories in individually authored chapters that comprise a family saga of revolution, persistence, and, ultimately, vindication, even as easy resolution eluded their struggles.
In the decades since the Vietnam War, veteran memoirs have influenced Americans’ understanding of the conflict. Yet few historians or literary scholars have scrutinized how the genre has shaped the nation’s collective memory of the war and its aftermath.
The follow-up to 2012’s Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement brings readers along with Suzi Parron, her new husband, Glen, their dog Gracie, and their converted van Ruby as they leave the stationary life behind. With no permanent home, Suzi and Glen follow the barn quilt trail full time as Suzi collects the stories behind these painted quilt squares that, since the movement began in Ohio in 2001, have appeared on barns in forty-eight states and in two provinces.
Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet “Stanland” is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.
Organized around the life histories, medical struggles, and recollections of Otis Trotter and his thirteen siblings, Keeping Heart is a personal account of an African American family’s journey north during the second Great Migration.
During the 1950s, a group of ambitious young African Americans enrolled at Ohio University, a predominantly white school in Athens, Ohio. Years later, eighteen of them decided to share their stories, recalling the joys and challenges of living on a white campus before the civil rights era.
In a thoughtful, humorous voice born of Appalachian storytelling, Childers brings to life family tales that affected the entire region to make sense of her personal journey and find the joy and clarity that often emerge after the earth shakes terribly beneath us.
In Dragging Wyatt Earp essayist Robert Rebein explores what it means to grow up in, leave, and ultimately return to the iconic Western town of Dodge City, Kansas. In chapters ranging from memoir to reportage to revisionist history, Rebein contrasts his hometown’s Old West heritage with a New West reality that includes salvage yards, beefpacking plants, and bored teenagers cruising up and down Wyatt Earp Boulevard.