Memoir

Riverhead Books/2017

Patricia Lockwood grew up in a Catholic family in the Midwest. But her family’s circumstances were a little different: Lockwood’s father was a priest. Throughout her upbringing, Lockwood navigated her father’s larger-than-life personality and the institutional bindings of the Catholic church.

Image of a quilt made by Elizabeth Keckley
Kent State University Museum

In 1868, Elizabeth Keckley published the memoir “Behind the Scenes: Or Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House.” She wrote in the preface, “I have often been asked to write my life, as those who know me know that it has been an eventful one.” 

Apprentice House

As a child growing up in Bristol, Virginia, writer Christine Hale says she was an unintended hostage to her parents’ abusive marriage and her  family’s dysfunction. When her second marriage ended in a bitter divorce she stumbled upon Tibetan Buddhism as a path toward making sense of her life. Her new memoir, “A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations,” (Apprentice House Press/2016) weaves together memories from her journey toward acceptance.

Headshot of Eric Fair, a former interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Amy Cramer

In 2004, photographs capturing extreme abuse of detainees at the American-controlled Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were released to the public, sparking a humanitarian outcry. That same year, Eric Fair was working as an interrogator at the prison. Fair's new memoir, "Consequence" (Henry Holt/2016) is an unflinching look back at his time at Abu Ghraib and the mental and physical pain he inflicted on detainees as part of military-sanctioned interrogations.

Gloria Steinem author photo
Annie Leibovitz

Gloria Steinem, 82,  is one of the most iconic figures of the American feminist movement. Her legacy as a journalist and activist includes co-founding and editing Ms. Magazine, publishing writings on the intersecting barriers to women’s rights, and decades of organizing on the front lines of national and international feminist movements.

"The Making Of A Racist"

Aug 17, 2016
Book cover of "The Making of a Racist," by Charles Dew
Charles Dew

Like any good historian, Charles Dew was trained to conduct his research in a scientific fashion, setting aside any personal perspectives in his scholarship.

But after more than 50 years of teaching Southern history, he finally turned inward. His new book describes his experiences growing up on the white side of the color line in the Jim Crow South.

photo of Jo Maeder
jomaeder.com

Since she was a little girl, Jo Maeder has loved radio. Her fascination became a career path and Jo became "The Madame," a popular deejay on several major rock and roll stations in Miami and New York.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter

More than 400,000 children in the United States are living in foster care. The statistics about what happens to these children later in life are startling: only about 50 percent finish high school, less than 10 percent go on to higher education. Ashley Rhodes-Courter is an exception to this statistic, but she has devoted her life’s work to speaking out on behalf of her many former foster care siblings who continue to struggle.

Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr Creative Commons/ USDA

Representative Barney Frank served in Congress for more than three decades.

His momentous career was marked by personal and political achievements; he was the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as gay, he helped bring about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and he co-authored the far-reaching Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. 

Grady and Marie Jefferys
Andrew Tie

The marriage between Grady and Marie Jefferys began under uncertain circumstances.

Marie had just left a violent ex-husband, Grady had withdrawn from college, and neither of their parents approved of their relationship.

  It was a marriage that defied the social norms of North Carolina in the 1950s, when Grady started his career as a prominent Raleigh journalist and communications consultant.

Image of George A. Payne in 1975
David Payne

Critics have called David Payne the most gifted American novelist of his generation. He is best-known for fictional works like “Confessions of A Taoist On Wall Street.”

But in the past decade he has inched farther and farther away from fiction writing and started to take the advice that he gives to his own creative writing students: “write about the hardest material.”

Image of Jacqueline Woodson, who is an award-winning author, used her life experiences growing up in South Carolina as the basis for her memoir, 'Brown Girl Dreaming.'
Marty Umans

Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson grew up Greenville, S.C. during the '60s and ‘70s. During this period of her life, Woodson was very aware of the segregation in her community and throughout the South.

A new memoir by UNC's Kenan Visiting Writer Daisy Hernández
A Cup of Water Under My Bed Book Cover

This was originally broadcasted on 10/21/2014

Daisy Hernández grew up between cultures as a first-generation American child of a working-class Colombian mother and Cuban father. 

Her family hoped that she’d “become white,” but she struggled to meet their demands while forming an identity of her own. Her new memoir, A Cup of Water Under My Bed (Beacon Press/2014), traces her journey, weaving stories of religion and family with details about a new world away from home, where she developed a new political consciousness, came out as bisexual, and worked as a feminist journalist. 

When Paul Austin and his wife Sally were anticipating their first child, they both felt excited and ready to be parents.

Cover of the book A Cup of Water Under My Bed
Cover Image of the book A Cup of Water Under My Bed

  

Daisy Hernández grew up between cultures as a first-generation American child of a working-class Colombian mother and Cuban father. 

Image of Veteran AIDS Activist Sean Strub
Sean Strub

  

Sean Strub is best known as the founder of POZ magazine and the first openly HIV-positive person to run for Congress. 

  

Tim Anderson grew up in north Raleigh as a gay, sugar-obsessed teenager.

Early morning anglers heading downstream from Avent's Ferry on the Cape Fear River, near Corinth, North Carolina.
Donald Lee Pardue / Flickr/Creative Commons

There are 17 major rivers in North Carolina, but Philip Gerard puts the Cape Fear River at number one.

A drawing of four girls in diverse clothing
facebook.com/events/411156452355142/

    

For a teenager, a diary can be a safe haven. It is a place to share thoughts that one would never speak aloud. But The Diary Play: Four Teens Tell Their Story brings those intimate details to light. Based on the teenage journals of four women who are now adults, the play asks questions about self-censorship and the boundaries between adults and young people.

Diaries cover everything from the monumental to the mundane. From tests and papers to crushes and self-esteem, it's all in there.

Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante
MK Asante / mkasante.com

M.K. Asante grew up in what he calls "Killedelphia," bouncing in and out of schools, hanging out in gangs, and struggling with troubled parents. Discovering a love of writing opened his eyes to new opportunities. His new book, Buck: A Memoir follows his coming-of-age story growing up in Philadelphia (Spiegel & Grau, 2013).

Jo Maeder
Jo Maeder

When writer Jo Maeder inherited her mother's collection of 700 dolls, she thought she'd quickly be rid of them. Instead, she became attached, and found herself drawn into the world of doll collectors. Jo Maeder has written about this experience in the New York Times.  Her latest book is Opposites Attack. Host Frank Stasio talks with her...and meets some of the dolls.  

For more information on Jo's doll obsession, you can visit the official site or the Facebook page for Mama Jo's House of Dolls. 

Chris Benfey
mtholyoke.edu

Several years ago, Chris Benfey decided to write a traditional memoir. He soon realized, however, that his family was anything but traditional. His new book, “Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay” (Penguin/2012), is part memoir, part history, part archeology.

It tells the stories of his ancestors’ work as bricklayers, his father’s escape from Nazi Germany and his great aunt and uncle’s pivotal role in the founding of Black Mountain College. Chris Benfey is a Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College. He joins Host Frank Stasio to discuss his family’s North Carolina stories.

http://fy.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etty_Hillesum

  Out of the varied horrors of the Holocaust, a body of literature survives.  The most famous voice belongs to Anne Frank.  At 15-years-old, she wrote, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”  It's hard to believe that anyone, even a child, can be so big-hearted. 

Less well-known is the voice of an adult woman, Etty Hillesum.  And her writing is finally getting its day in the sun.