The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

There's a certain kind of light you sometimes see on winter afternoons: sharp, saturated, so glittering and vivid it's as if the sun is turning the sky an entirely new color that's never exited before. This book was like that. Every sentence shimmered, so bright it hurt. I had heard that that this book was both... Continue Reading →

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

The Argonauts is hard to categorize. Part memoir, part literary criticism, part cultural critique—it is many things at once. Nelson combines all of these different ways of thinking and writing combine in a profound, moving, challenging work that is both deeply academic and deeply personal. On one surface, it’s a memoir about meeting and falling... Continue Reading →

Just Kids by Patti Smith

In Just Kids, Patti Smith captures a specific time and place: New York City in the late 1960s and 1970s, at the heart of the growing punk rock scene, and before the onslaught of AIDS. She recounts her own journey from her girlhood in South Jersey to her immersion in the whirling countercultural world of... Continue Reading →

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

I had mixed feelings about this book. Unfortunately, the more I read, the more my enjoyment of it dwindled. By the time I finished it, I was mostly frustrated. Levy's memoir is both about her career as a writer, her first marriage, and her experience with pregnancy. In the first half of the book, Levy... Continue Reading →

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

It's hard to know what to possibly write about this book. It was brutal and painful and heartbreaking. It was also beautiful. It was also deeply powerful, and affirming, and fierce. Gay's honesty and vulnerability were astounding--I can't think of another memoir in which a writer has so surely laid herself bare. Gay's writing is... Continue Reading →

Review: Insomniac City, Bill Hayes

I don’t often love memoirs, but this one was stunning.  Gorgeous, tender, heartbreaking, joyful. Bill Hayes moved to New York City at the age of forty-eight, shortly after the death of his partner of sixteen years. In this memoir, he recounts falling in love with the neurologist Oliver Sacks, who was seventy-five at the time.... Continue Reading →

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