memoir

    Eighty-six-year-old Betty Halbreich is a true original. A tough broad who could have stepped straight out of Stephen Sondheim’s repertoire, she has spent nearly forty years as the legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, where she works with socialites, stars, and ordinary women off the street.

Meticulous, impeccable, hardworking, elegant, and—most of all—delightfully funny, Halbreich has never been afraid to tell it to her clients straight. She won’t sell something just to sell it. If an outfit or shoe or purse is too expensive, she’ll dissuade you from buying it. As Halbreich says, “There are two things nobody wants to face: their closet and their mirror.”

  

  Gail Sheehy, the author of Passages, a book that changed millions of lives, now lays bare her own life passages in a memoir that reveals her harrowing and ultimately triumphant path from groundbreaking 1960s "girl" journalist to bestselling author who made a career of excavating cultural taboos - from sex, menopause, and midlife crisis to illness, caregiving, and death.

Swoosie Kurtz

Aug 20, 2014

    

  In Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family, Swoosie Kurtz shares just the right combination of personal misadventure and showbiz lore, candidly reflecting on the right choices that empowered her, the wrong choices that enlightened her, and the intimate journey of caring for an aging parent.

    At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moved to New York City and took a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She was tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail.

Her memoir of that time is called: My Salinger Year.

    

  Beverly Donofrio is known for her popular memoir Riding in Cars with Boys, where she wrote about her experience as a teen mom.

Now she's out with a new memoir about a life-changing incident in her mid-fifties — she woke up one night to a rapist in her bed. The book is titled Astonished: A Story of Evil, Blessings, Grace and Solace.

    

  Gabrielle Selz grew up in a home full of the most celebrated artists of the 1960s and 1970s: Rothko, de Kooning, Tinguely, Giacometti, and Christo.

Her father, Peter Selz, was the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. Selz's father was vibrant and freewheeling, but his enthusiasm for both women and art took its toll on their family life.

  In Wear Your Dreams, Ed Hardy recounts his genesis as a tattoo artist and leader in the movement to recognize tattooing as a valid and rich art form, through to the ultimate transformation of his career into a multi-billion dollar branding empire.

From giving colored pencil tattoos to neighborhood kids at age ten to working with legendary artists like Sailor Jerry to learning at the feet of the masters in Japan, the book explains how this Godfather of Tattoos fomented the explosion of tattoo art and how his influence can be witnessed on everyone, from countless celebs to ink-adorned rockers to butterfly-branded, stroller-pushing moms. With over fifty different product categories, the Ed Hardy brand generates over $700 million in retail sales annually.

    

  In her new memoir, The Madwoman in the Volvo, writer and performer Sandra Tsing Loh tells the story of her personal roller coaster of menopause. It includes an affair with a married man, the explosion of her marriage, and the pressure of keeping her daughters off of Facebook while managing the legal and marital hijinks of her eighty-nine-year-old dad. 
 


Surprisingly, deeper research into the biological science of menopause suggests that this is all normal. Loh deduces that this midlife “madness” is less about menopause than about the madness of the world: trying to maintain appearances during an epic hormonal (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) change.

Sandra Tsing Loh is a contributing editor to The Atlantic and the author of five previous books. She is a regular commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition and PRI’s This American Life and has performed two solo shows off-Broadway.

  In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.

While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies—the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.

The book is a portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can. The name of the book is Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

    In Living With A Wild God, Barbara Ehrenreich reconstructs her childhood mission, bringing an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's impassioned obsession with the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all.

Ehrenreich is the New York Times bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed.

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