The beauty of a memoir or an autobiography is the way that it gives such rich insight into the mind of the subject, where each story offers the reader far more than just a compelling story to follow. Here, we have lined up some of the most interesting, unique, creative and gripping memoirs of the moment — each deserving of a place on your bedside table.
Anna — The Biography by Amy Odell
Few are as iconic in fashion as Anna Wintour, and despite the closed nature of her life, this highly-anticipated release offers a glimpse into the inner workings of the editor’s mind, revealing for the first time what exactly makes her so successful. In the biography of the Vogue figurehead, journalistAmy Odell chronicles Wintour’s journey to becoming, over her decades-long career, one of the most influential people in the industry. Based on extensive interviews with the renowned editor’s closest friends and collaborators, this is the most insightful story of Wintour ever published.
The Last Days of Roger Federer by Geoff Dyer
From his record-breaking antics to his signature humility on court, Roger Federer will always be remembered as a tennis great. But as his age becomes an ever present topic in conversation, it begs the question; as athletes age, what becomes of their career? In true Geoff Dyer style, equal-part memoir and philosophical prose, this fascinating read considers the idea of endings and how they impact the way we think. A memoir unlike any you have likely read before, here, the author sets his own encounter with middle age against the last days of famous artists, writers and athletes who have impacted his life — from Bob Dylan’s music to Turner’s paintings and of course, Roger Federer’s tennis exploits. As much about endings as it is about how to go on living with art and beauty, this read is a defiant statement of how our experiences may shift when ‘the end’ is in sight, ultimately leaving us to wonder — does ageing actually spell the end as definitively as we have been lead to believe?
Also A Poet — Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me by Ada Calhoun
Ada Calhoun’s unique memoir brings together wit, sorrow and regret in a curious recounting told over generations. As she stumbles across her father’s old cassette tape interviews in his quest to write a biography of the renowned poet, Frank O’Hara, Calhoun sets out to complete the book he began nearly four decades earlier.
Linea Nigra by Jazmina Berrera
As the title suggests, this part-memoir part-manifesto on pregnancy and earthquakes is a tumultuous exploration of child-bearing and the life and culture that surrounds it. Using poetic convention, Linea Nigra is a beautiful, poignant read which touches on the author’s experience with motherhood and celebrates the mystery and power of the female body.
Rough Draft by Katy Tur
As a household name in America, MSNBC anchor and New York Times bestselling author Katy Tur has penned this personal memoir about her eccentric upbringing, her famed career and the gaps she has found in between. Full of fascinating detail about the hidden parts of her industry, Rough Draft offers unique insight into modern media.
A Hard Place to Leave by Marcia DeSanctis
Presented as a collection of essays, travel writer and New York Times bestselling author Marcia DeSanctis captures her restlessness of a life torn between travelling the world and staying put. In a media career most would find alluring, DeSanctis speaks to the challenges few would understand — the love of discovering new places, and the desire to connect with home.
A Ballet of Lepers: A Novel and Stories by Leonard Cohen
From the ashes, iconic musician, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen graces us with A Ballet of Lepers for the perfect winter read. This is the second posthumous Cohen book published since his death in 2016, bringing together a never-before-seen early novel and other stories. And while some might find the idea disconcerting, A Ballet of Lepers offers new insight into the literary mind of Cohen, widely appreciated as the world’s greatest lyricist.