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07.17.10

The Best Memoirs Ever, IMHO

As the author of a new memoir, And the Heart Says Whatever, Emily Gould picks her favorites of the genre, many of which you’ve probably never heard of.

The names of these authors, with rare exceptions, probably aren’t going to look familiar to you from the bestseller list or even a college syllabus, unless you went to an even hippie-er alternaschool than I did. These books are weird and idiosyncratic explorations of neglected corners of human experience; few of them can be satisfactorily summed up in a few sentences. A few themes run throughout: druggy, decadent bohemia, forbidden or strange sex, art, and power, and, um, cooking. I encourage anyone who’s interested in first-person writing—which, to me, is the same thing as being interested in other people’s minds and experiences—to seek them out.

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Emily Gould is the author of And The Heart Says Whatever, published by Free Press in May 2010. She writes at www.emilymagazine.com and lives in Brooklyn.