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10 Memoirs To Broaden Your Horizons

Designed by Anna Jay.
Welcome to Hot Book Summer. From books about queer joy to snappy page turners you can read in a weekend, true crime books without the violence against women to Unbothered's picks of the best books written by Black women now, R29 has got your summer reading list sorted.
A toddler abandoned by her mother drifts across oceans in search of home. A young woman in 1980s America defies fear and prejudice to care for men dying with AIDS when no one else – not even doctors – will. An 81-year-old with purple hair reflects on a lifetime of art, activism and smashing the patriarchy.
Not so very long ago, memoirs were the hunting ground of down-on-their-luck celebrities and washed-up politicians: an often cynical attempt to wring one's reputation for every last drop of fame (and cash); a desperate stab at remaining relevant. These days you'll find nurses, teachers and writers at the beginning of their career jostling for shelf space with the noteworthy and the notorious. Age and experience be damned; if you have a story to tell, we want to read it – no matter how ordinary you might think you are.
In fact, ordinary is the very last word we'd use to describe 2021's bumper crop of memoirs. Traversing cultures and continents, from New York sweatshops to the bars and clubs of Aberdeen, these stories are as gripping as any whodunnit, as sweeping as any romance – and all the more nourishing for being true. In the hands of these writers, memoir is no longer a closing chapter but a vital examination of the world and our place in it. Read on, and prepare to have your horizons broadened...

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