The U.S. Book Show continued to provide more recommendations for book lovers of all genres. On Wednesday, May 26, the Book Show’s Biography and Memoir panel showcased 8 up-and-coming titles for lovers of real stories. From cooking-inspired picks to Jazz Age histories, biographies and memoirs are some of the most varied genres to delve into, especially as a way to expand your reading comfort zone. Check out these 8 titles if you’re looking for some of the best biographies and memoirs soon to hit the market.
The Breaks by Julietta Singh
Written as a letter to her 6-year-old daughter, Julietta Singh dazzles with The Breaks. Covering topics of race, climate change, inheritance, and more, The Breaks makes commentary on the interconnectedness of those topics with the things her daughter learns in school, from history lessons to pop culture references. The Breaks explores how vital unlearning is in 2021, and the idea that life requires a critical lens in order to imagine a better future. This memoir is perfect for anyone interested in current events and learning, in a digestible, comforting way. The Breaks is slated for release on September 7, 2021. You can find more information here.
Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age by Debby Applegate
Perfect for fans of lesser-told history stories, Madam is the story of Polly Adler, a powerhouse of the 1920s. Self-described as the “best goddam madam in America,” Adler’s story is one of celebrities and success of her day through the fabulous gatherings and parties she threw. Applegate navigates through Adler’s life story, using it as a vehicle to explore how the Jazz Age combined glamor and criminality, and the way the Roaring Twenties still impacts American culture today. Adler’s story is one of individuality and representative of an entire decade, and that is what Madam aims to convey. Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age comes out November 2, 2021. You can find more information here.
Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor by Anna Qu
A memoir of the difficult side of family, immigration and survival, Made in China is Anna Qu’s debut memoir and it packs a heavy punch. Detailing the story of Qu’s adolescence as she worked in a Queens sweatshop and acted as a maid at home, through her experience with the Office of Children and Family Services and familial estrangement. Made in China is Qu’s reflection on her life and how her relationship with her family, work and being Chinese has impacted her. This memoir is intended for mature readers who are interested in a heartbreaking and resilient story about family dynamics. Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor hits shelves on August 3, 2021. You can find more information here.
Miss Chloe: A Literary Friendship with Toni Morrison by A.J. Verdelle
Renowned author A.J. Verdelle tells the story of her relationship with the late Toni Morrison, whom she formed a friendship with after the success of her novel, The Good Negress. Miss Chloe is an expression both of Morrison’s and Verdelle’s friendship, as well as the existence of creativity in the world of writing and the advice Verdelle received from Morrison. Verdelle’s memoir is a testament to the difficulty of being a writer and what it means to continue writing after finding success. Miss Chloe is perfect for readers interested in knowing the intimate struggles of a writer. Miss Chloe: A Literary Friendship with Toni Morrison is on sale on September 14, 2021. You can find more information here.
Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller by Nadia Wassef
Shelf Life tells the tale of Nadia Wassef’s experience of founding and managing Diwan, an independent bookstore in Cairo. Wassef tells the story of her struggle, alongside her sister, Hind, and their friend, Nihal, to establish Diwan without any prior knowledge of running a bookstore or a business. Shelf Life is a reflection on how Diwan found success and expanded, 10 years later having 10 locations across Egypt. Shelf Life is an easygoing read, perfect for anyone who is interested in a fresh story fueled by revolution and feminism. Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller comes out on October 5, 2021. You can find more information here.
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
Actor and food lover Stanley Tucci details his life through his love of food in Taste. This memoir follows Tucci’s cookbooks, which contained recipes inspired by his childhood in an Italian-American family. Now, Taste goes beyond the recipes to trace food’s significance in Tucci’s acting career, fatherhood, finding love and more. Taste is an honest, relatable look at Tucci’s life filled with humor and a profound appreciation for good meals. This memoir is perfect for anyone who loves slice-of-life stories. Taste: My Life Through Food is on sale on October 5, 2021. You can find more information here.
Things I Have Withheld by Kei Miller
Poet-turned-memoirist Kei Miller is profoundly honest in the essay collection of Things I Have Withheld. Interconnected by his perspective as a Black, queer writer, Miller dissects the impact of racism and prejudice through anecdotal essays unpacking his time living in Jamaica and Britain. Things I Have Withheld is described as a poetic compilation of essays, influenced by Miller’s background as a poet. No word goes neglected as he contemplates the meaning of “privilege and victimhood,” making this a perfect read for anyone who’s interested in a blunt but elegant memoir collection. Things I Have Withheld hits shelves on September 14, 2021. You can find more information here.
Three Girls of Bronzeville by Dawn Turner
Dawn Turner, originally a journalist, explores the lives of herself, her sister, Kim, and their friend, Debra, as they come of age in Chicago’s neighborhood of Bronzeville. Against the backdrop of the 1970s, Turner reflects on her childhood through a nuanced lens, recognizing the 70s as a time that promised more rights and freedoms to Black Americans than ever before that point. Three Girls of Bronzeville weaves the tapestries of the three girls’ lives together, then apart, and Turner uses the memoir as a way to reflect on where things changed. This read is recommended for anyone who’s interested in a flowing, captivating coming-of-age reflection. Three Girls of Bronzeville will be published on September 7, 2021. You can find more information here.
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