Big Week for Memoirs

The memoir category continues to grow, as proved by the large selection coming next week.

Already making headlines is Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso (FSG), the memoir of the author’s seduction and molestation, beginning at age 7, by a serial child rapist in his 50s, it follows their 15-year relationship. New York magazine reviewed it this week, calling  it “an unstable mixture of bildungsroman, dirty realism, and child pornography” and calls it “beautiful and appalling.”

Andre Dubus‘smemoir of his childhood, Townie (Norton), an EarlyWord favorite since his appearance at ALA Midwinter, has already garnered admiring reviews.

A natural outgrowth of the public fascination with celebrity chefs and their cookbooks is the celebrity chef memoir. Next week brings two with strong backing from their publishers:

Gabrielle Hamilton recently confirmed her chops as a writer with an excerpt in the New Yorker from Blood, Bones and Butter, which recounts her trajectory from a 1970s Pennsylvania childhood that disintegrated in divorce to opening her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune.

The memoir has also wrested rare praise from New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani, who says,

…the book is hardly just for foodies. Ms. Hamilton, who has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, is as evocative writing about people and places as she is at writing about cooking, and her memoir does as dazzling a job of summoning her lost childhood as Mary Karr’s “Liars’ Club” and Andre Aciman’s “Out of Egypt” did with theirs.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
Gabrielle Hamilton
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2011-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 140006872X / 9781400068722

Grant Achatz, whose Chicago restaurant Alinea was crowned the best in America by Gourmet magazine, also delivers Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat. Co-written by Nick Kokonas, the book has a 75,000 copy first printing. An excerpt in the new issue of People (March 7) chronicles Achatz’s struggle with tongue cancer.

Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat
Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas
Retail Price: $27.50
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Gotham/Penguin – (2011-03-03)
ISBN / EAN: 1592406017 / 9781592406012

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Getting to Heaven: Departing Instructions for Your Life Now by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey (Berkley) is an “instruction book” regarding the Christian idea of the afterlife by the author of the multimillion-selling 90 Minutes in Heaven.

Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America by Les Standiford and Joe Matthews (Ecco) is the story of the 1981 kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh—son of John Walsh, host of the Fox TV series America’s Most Wanted—which went unsolved for a quarter of a century. It will get a major round of publicity, including a March 1 Q&A with the authors in USA Today, a March 2 appearance by Joe Matthews and the Walshes on the Today show; and a March 3 segment on Nightline.

Revolt!: How to Defeat Obama and Repeal His Socialist Programs by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann (Broadside Books) advocates no tax increases, weakening federal regulations and cutting social programs in the name of deficit reduction.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer (Penguin Press) chronicles the training process of a once forgetful U.S. Memory Champion. The author was interviewed on All Things Considered on Wednesday.

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