If You Like The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

If You Like The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered. (catalog summary)

 

If you like gritty biographies like The Glass Castle, these other titles might intrigue you:

 


The Black Girl Next Door by Jennifer Lynn Baszile
A powerful, beautifully written memoir about coming of age as a black girl in an exclusive white suburb in "integrated," post-Civil Rights California in the 1970s and 1980s. (catalog summary)
 

 


 

 


Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless
This memoir recounts the author's emotional trauma from living with a mentally ill mother, Georgann Rea, who showed Lawless and her younger sister no love. The author narrates this tale of Georgann's life: growing up in a trailer park, then reinventing herself as a glamorous Manhattanite who left a string of men in her wake. Lawless discusses her mother's nervous breakdowns, suicide attempts, and hospital stays with equal parts detachment and regret. (catalog summary)

 


The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father & His Son
 by Pat Conroy
While the publication of The Great Santini brought Conroy much acclaim, the rift it caused with his father brought even more attention. Their long-simmering conflict burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family. But in the final days of Don Conroy's life, the Santini who had freely doled out physical abuse to his wife and children refocused his ire on those who had turned on Pat over the years. A poignant lesson on how the ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor. A memoir by the author of The Prince of Tides about his father--the inspiration for The Great Santini--and a reaffirmation that love can conquer even the meanest of men. (catalog summary)

 

 


The End of the World as We Know It by Robert Goolrick
In the tradition of Rick Bragg's "All Over but the Shoutin'," Goolrick has crafted a classic memoir of childhood and the secrets a heart can't forget. With devastating honesty and razor-sharp wit, he looks back with love, and with anger, at the parents who both created his world and destroyed it. (catalog summary)

 

 



Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived An Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island by Regina Calcaterra
Calcaterra and her siblings endured a series of foster homes and intermittent homeless in the shadow of the Hamptons. She managed to rise above her past while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together. An unforgettable reminder that, regardless of social status, the American dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed. (catalog summary)



 

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
This book takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale perfectly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned 'fun home,' as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.--From publisher description. (catalog summary)

 



Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg
Sonnenberg's memoir illuminates her resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children after being raised by a mother who was a compulsive liar and a drug user. (catalog summary)

 

 



Lies My Mother Never Told Me by Kaylie Jones
An acclaimed writer recalls her relationship with her alcoholic mother--particularly in the aftermath of the death of her father, novelist James Jones--in a memoir that explores the addictions of both mother and daughter. (catalog summary)


 

 


Perishable
by Dirk Jamison
Fascinatingly disturbing, this memoir chronicles seven years in the life of a distinctly unordinary American family. In 1973, Dirk Jamison's father started having a midlife crisis that never ended, and after purposefully losing his construction job, he moved his family to a ski resort and started feeding them from dumpsters in an effort to reject money and all its trappings. They were never homeless, never desperately poor, but they lived on garbage. While Jamison struggled with adolescence, he faced a father who valued freedom more than anything, an overweight Mormon mother, and a cruel sister who delighted in physical abuse. Hilarious and horrifying, this heartbreaking account tells the strange story of the anti-American dream. (catalog summary)


 



A Piece of Cake: A Memoir
by Cupcake Brown
This book is unlike any memoir you'll ever read. Moving in its frankness, it is a relentless tale of a resilient spirit who took on the worst of contemporary urban life and survived it with a furious wit and unyielding determination. Cupcake Brown is a dynamic and original storyteller who will guide you on the most satisfying, startlingly funny, and genuinely affecting tour through hell you'll ever take. (catalog summary)