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Can you recommend a good autobiography by a NON-famous person?

I just read quite a good one by Wendy Lawless called 'Chanel Bonfire' about her crazy mother ( in fact I'm sure many DLers would like it-gays love the psycho-bitches)...

So that's my current recommendation. Do you have any?

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by Anonymousreply 4205/22/2020

'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls? Wallis. Idk

by Anonymousreply 108/21/2015

OP, if it's about her mother, how can it be an autobiography?

by Anonymousreply 208/21/2015

[quote]OP, if it's about her mother, how can it be an autobiography?

It's about her experience of her mother and how she affected her life.

by Anonymousreply 308/21/2015

"The Autobiography of a Face" by Lucy Grealy. At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasures of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.

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by Anonymousreply 408/21/2015

"The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts" is a memoir, or collection of memoirs, by Maxine Hong Kingston. Maxine Hong Kingston grew up in two worlds. There was "solid America," the place her parents emigrated to, and the China of her mother's "talk-stories." In talk-stories women were warriors and her mother was still a doctor in China who could cure the sick and scare away ghosts, not a harried and frustrated woman running a stifling laundromat in California. But what is story and what is truth? In China, a ghost is a supernatural being; in America it is anyone who is not Chinese. In addition, underlying even the most exciting talk-stories of Chinese women warriors is the real oppression of Chinese women: "There is a Chinese word for the female 'I' - which is 'slave.' " In an attempt to figure out her world, Maxine Hong Kingston finds herself creating stories of her own, filling in the blanks her mother has not told her because her daughter is, after all, not true Chinese and thus cannot be completely trusted. Can these new stories explain why she had trouble speaking in the American schools? Can they help her understand the aunt who committed adultery and whose existence is denied? The new stories refuse to fall into traditional forms, and the realizations that come from them often bring out a beautiful, passionate anger that practically burns through the pages.

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by Anonymousreply 508/21/2015

I'm reading Born on the Bayou. It's written by financier Blaine Lourd who isn't really famous. He's the brother of Bryan Lourd the head of CAA (who is gay but was married to Carrie Fisher). He writes beautifully about growing up alternately poor and rich as his oilman father profited from and suffered from the vagaries of the price of oil. He touches on issues for Bryan of growing up gay in a rural, huntin' and fishin' Cajun community where flagrant homophobia was encouraged. It does have the most disgusting scene in it though when Blaine as a teenager accompanied his father and his friends on a hunting trip to a Texas-Mexican border town, basically a visit to a whorehouse and he witnessed a show one of the whores put on, getting screwed by a donkey. Truly revolting.

by Anonymousreply 608/21/2015

I was into memoirs for a time and loved these. One in the list is a biograpghy:

"Closing Time" Joe Queenan

"When all the World was Young" Barbara Holland

"Sick Girl" Amy Silverstone

"Ghost Soldiers" Hampton Sides. (True Account)

"Savage Beauty, Edna St. Vincent Millay." Nancy Milford. (A biography about a famous person, but worth the read. 14 years or close of research went into Milford's effort.)

by Anonymousreply 708/21/2015

Sorry, OP. Missed the Autobiography request. Still my lust is worth a glance.

by Anonymousreply 808/21/2015

Lol, so is my *list*.

by Anonymousreply 908/21/2015

Janet Frame's books about her early life in New Zealand are harrowing and amazing. "Owls Do Cry" and "Faces in the Water."

by Anonymousreply 1008/21/2015

Oh, the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey, the troubled son of San Francisco socialites who is screwed out of his inheritance by a greedy stepmother. I'm not from SF and I didn't know who the players were, and I still found it a good read.

by Anonymousreply 1108/21/2015

Thanks you very much for the recommendations.

I read the Glass Castle one a few years ago. Probably time to dig it out for a reread. I agree. Very good.

Also read the Janet Frame books and loved them. I recently got a DVD of the film and I'm saving it up for the right moment.

I think I'm too much of a coward to read R4's. But thank you anyway, R4.

The others I'm going to read up about.

by Anonymousreply 1208/21/2015

'The last true story I'll ever tell' written by John Crawford , his account of being a soldier in the Middle East. His college career got interrupted by his national Guard duty, so he went. What a tale about war from the soldiers' POV.

by Anonymousreply 1309/05/2015

Helene Hanff. Well she's sort of famous for her "84 Charing Cross Road" story, but her other works are wonderful. Underfoot in Show Business - tells of her antics as a career girl in 1940s New York City. Apple of My Eye and Letter from New York - amusing anecdotes from her life in New York City.

Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart - career girl working at Tiffanys in 1940s

Eleven Stories High by Corinne Dumas - girl growing up in 1950s New York City

by Anonymousreply 1409/05/2015

"Not Dead Yet"- Dr. Robert Buckman's autobiography.

Dr. Buckman was a medical oncologist at the Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre. Very funny and informative. He talks about his association with Monty Python along with his near-fatal experience with an auto-immune disease.

by Anonymousreply 1509/05/2015

[quote]Still my lust is worth a glance.

You randy bugger, you.

by Anonymousreply 1609/05/2015

Alexandra David-Neels books about her travels in Tibet are just the right amount of adventure and insanity.

by Anonymousreply 1709/05/2015

The Jeanette Walls and Sean Wilsey books are both great. Jeanette was a fairly high-profile gossip columnist in the 1990s (she outed Matt Drudge, quite matter-of-factly) and her secret was that her parents were homeless and basically raised her while traveling around the country.

Even after she became financially comfortable as an adult they accepted very little help from her, preferring to live on the streets. She describes the feeling of leaving a Manhattan party late one night in a limousine and on the way home seeing her mother digging through a public trash can.

by Anonymousreply 1809/05/2015

The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch. Lynch is a poet and undertaker and The Undertaking A chronicles of life and death in a small town. A lovely little book.

Another good autobiography is The Day Gone By by Watership Down Author Richard Adams. Lovely pre-WWII story - even some homo stuff. Gorgeously written.

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by Anonymousreply 1909/05/2015

I didn't like the Glass Castle - you could tell that the kids suffered at the hands of their parents, but they never seen to rebel against them or roll their eyes at their crazy antics. I prefer "The Liars Club" by Mary Karr. Her book is very much about growing up among the alcoholic/mentally ill, but there's also a lot of humor and warmth, particularly for her dad who was kind of a tragic guy (the mother, however, was a destructive loon).

Did anyone read "Brain on Fire"? I started to read it, but never finished it.

by Anonymousreply 2009/05/2015

I second R19's recommendation of The Undertaking. I just thought about that book today and am going to re-read it.

by Anonymousreply 2109/05/2015

Forgot to add my recommendation, Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald. The chapter about having the KISS anthem "I Was Made For Loving You" stuck in her head during a meditation retreat was very funny.

I Was Told There Would Be Cake by Sloane Crosley is also amusing. I'm the type of person who thinks running through New York holding a giant moth is worth reading about, so take my recommendation for what it's worth.

by Anonymousreply 2209/05/2015

"Bettyville" by George Hodgman - Gay only child in New York City returns to rural Missouri to take care of his mother with onset dementia. It's both her story and his life story together in one book.

by Anonymousreply 2309/05/2015

I found "Crazy from the Storm" by Norman Ollestad very gripping.

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by Anonymousreply 2409/05/2015

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller

A classic is born in this tender, intensely moving and even delightful journey through a white African girl's childhood. Born in England and now living in Wyoming, Fuller was conceived and bred on African soil during the Rhodesian civil war (1971-1979), a world where children over five "learn[ed] how to load an FN rifle magazine, strip and clean all the guns in the house, and ultimately, shoot-to-kill." With a unique and subtle sensitivity to racial issues, Fuller describes her parents' racism and the wartime relationships between blacks and whites through a child's watchful eyes. Curfews and war, mosquitoes, land mines, ambushes and "an abundance of leopards" are the stuff of this childhood. "Dad has to go out into the bush... and find terrorists and fight them"; Mum saves the family from an Egyptian spitting cobra; they both fight "to keep one country in Africa white-run." The "A" schools ("with the best teachers and facilities") are for white children; "B" schools serve "children who are neither black nor white"; and "C" schools are for black children. Fuller's world is marked by sudden, drastic changes: the farm is taken away for "land redistribution"; one term at school, five white students are "left in the boarding house... among two hundred African students"; three of her four siblings die in infancy; the family constantly sets up house in hostile, desolate environments as they move from Rhodesia to Zambia to Malawi and back to Zambia. But Fuller's remarkable affection for her parents (who are racists) and her homeland (brutal under white and black rule) shines through. This affection, in spite of its subjects' prominent flaws, reveals their humanity and allows the reader direct entry into her world. Fuller's book has the promise of being widely read and remaining of interest for years to come.

by Anonymousreply 2509/05/2015

R18, your description of the Walls book now has me interested in reading it.

by Anonymousreply 2609/05/2015

Haywire

by Anonymousreply 2709/05/2015

[quote]Even after she became financially comfortable as an adult they accepted very little help from her, preferring to live on the streets.

I seem to remember that she discovered that her mother actually owned some valuable land/property that she'd been sitting on all those years & it made her very angry.

Jeanette w/ her Mom @ link.

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by Anonymousreply 2809/06/2015

Since you guys like more ... dysfunctional stories, consider these:

"A Girl in the Dark" by Anna Lyndsey - Normal woman develops such a severe allergy to any source of light whatsoever that she becomes pretty much restricted to living in a darkened room talking on the phone and listening to audiobooks for activities.

"Coming Clean" by Kimberly Rae Miller - the author's dad had such a hoarder problem that the house eventually became overrun by mice and vermin. While she is a high school student, their hot water heater goes kaput, but they cannot have it replaced because the repair man would probably report the property to the health department and it would be condemned.

by Anonymousreply 2909/06/2015

[quote]Since you guys like more ... dysfunctional stories, consider these

Both sound horrendous. No, thanks.

by Anonymousreply 3009/06/2015

[quote]Still my lust is worth a glance

THIS is going to be the name of my autobiography. LOL!

by Anonymousreply 3109/06/2015

Round Boy by Frank Bruni. Growing up with food issues, it's easy how food becomes consumes him rather than he consume it. Anybody whose mother ever threaten to take you to the husky dept. For back to school shopping will relate.

by Anonymousreply 3209/06/2015

Red Azalea by Anchee Min. Cultural Revolution memoir full of intrigue and struggle against a corrupt system. Has some lesbian action too.

by Anonymousreply 3309/06/2015

If you liked The Glass castle try The Liars Club by Mary Karr.

by Anonymousreply 3409/06/2015

I second "Bettyville" -- story of a fiftyish gay book editor in New York moving back to his small hometown to look after his mother, whose Alzheimer's is getting worse. Their relationship is fascinating, his tales of Fire Island are tiresome and should have been excised.

The funniest book I've read all year was "Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation" by Adam Resnick. Imagine a young Larry David type growing up in a household of rowdy boys. His tale of pissing off his wife's family on a trip to Disney World had me literally laughing alone in my apartment -- I think he ends up calling her sister-in-law a "cunt" in the middle of the Magic Kingdom.

by Anonymousreply 3509/06/2015

"You're Never Weird on the Internet" by Felicia Day - got it to read something out of my comfort zone and was totally hooked!

by Anonymousreply 3612/03/2015

Has anyone mentioned 'Me Talk Pretty One Day' written by David Sedaris before he was famous?...or before he was very famous, at least.

by Anonymousreply 3712/03/2015

I think his lust is worth more than a glance.

by Anonymousreply 3812/03/2015

I was all set for my next book to be "Still My Lust" before I understood this thread. Disappointed now.

by Anonymousreply 3905/22/2020

[quote]Still my lust is worth a glance.

"My Lust Is Worth A Glance" will be the title of my second autobiography. The first title will be "Jackie On Assistance." Both books will cover my years in the gay ghettos of New York City.

by Anonymousreply 4005/22/2020

"This Boy's Life" and "Old School," both by Tobias Wolf.

by Anonymousreply 4105/22/2020

"All Souls" by Michael Patrick McDonald.

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by Anonymousreply 4205/22/2020
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