M. Randal O’Wain reveals the raw and honest truth of the South in ‘Meander Belt’

M. Randal O’Wain reveals the raw and honest truth of the South in ‘Meander Belt’

The essays in M. Randal O’Wains debut memoir, Meander Belt, tap into what life was truly like growing up in the rural South. Subtitled “Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working Class South,” the book is a raw and intimate portrayal of an area often at the mercy of stereotypes or often altogether left out of media portrayals.

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Sarah M. Broom invites readers into ‘The Yellow House’

Sarah M. Broom invites readers into ‘The Yellow House’

Every so often, a book comes around that must be read far and wide regardless of usual taste in literature or culture. The story is personal but also transcendent. It is written intimately but speaks globally. Sarah M. Broom’s memoir about the house her family lived in is that story now. 

The titular yellow house of Broom’s memoir The Yellow House was nestled in the neighborhood known as New Orleans East. Purchased in the 1960s by Broom’s mother Ivory Mae, it was filled with hope. Filled with a dozen children, the house was filled with love. It was also filled, at times, with chaos. Its meandering history came to a devastating end in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Broom tracks her family and the house through an intimate lease filled with many nooks and crannies just like the house she grew up in.

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Chris Rush’s art: then and now

Chris Rush’s art: then and now

Artist Chris Rush has had a lifetime of stories that teeter on fantasy. His recent memoir, The Light Years, covers the first two decades of his life from a young church-going boy to a drug mule for a hippie prophet. You can read more about that memoir and my conversation with him over at the Millions (eventually), but I wanted to give you a taste of the artist behind the memoir.

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Essayist T Kira Madden finds comfort in everything from childhood Nickelodeon shows to cooking soup

Essayist T Kira Madden finds comfort in everything from childhood Nickelodeon shows to cooking soup

T Kira Madden cooks instead of meditates and isn’t really sure how much she’ll like eating out on her upcoming book tour for her memoir Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls. (Bookstores, find the best soup near your location and let her know.)

Throughout the pieces in her debut memoir, she talks about trying to fit in and seeking comfort anyway she can. While cooking is a big source of release for her now, television and the internet were sanctuaries for her growing up as a queer misfit in a posh school with a complicated home life.

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