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From Joan Didion to Roxane Gay: 7 books you should read if you enjoy nonfiction

Here’s a brief list of the most interesting nonfiction titles to come out in the past year.

books Updated: Jul 20, 2017 11:51 IST
Agence France-Presse
Roxane Gay,South and West: From a Notebook,Joan Didion

While fiction certainly does take the reader to another world, nonfiction – in all its variety – can be just as absorbing. A lot of interesting non-fiction titles covering a number of subjects, from memoirs to essays, have been released in the past year. Here’s a brief (and by no means definitive) list of the most interesting ones:

Joan Didion, South and West: From a Notebook
The celebrated author and journalist is seen in a new light in these extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks. The first finds Didion and her husband on a road trip in the American South in 1970, while another, California Notes, which began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976, is a compilation of her reflections about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own childhood in Sacramento.

Ariel Levy, The Rules Do Not Apply
Cheryl Strayed’s name often comes up by way of comparison when people speak of Levy’s memoir, whose story starts when the journalist headed out on a reporting trip to Mongolia, pregnant, married and successful. Levy, who writes for The New Yorker, tells a story of grief and resilience.

David Sedaris, Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)
Bestselling comic writer Sedaris is known for his autobiographical essays, and his newest book lays open the diaries – often featured at his readings but never before available in print – that have served as their source material.

Scaachi Koul, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
BuzzFeed Canada writer Scaachi Koul is behind this witty and sharp book of essays, covering personal anecdotes from a shopping trip to a visit to the bikini waxer, as well as observations about living as a woman of colour, and straddling Western and Indian culture.

Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Food, weight and self-image are all tackled in this memoir by best-selling author Gay, in which she delves into her own emotional and psychological struggles.

Sherman Alexie, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
The fiction writer turns the attention on himself in this memoir, which looks at his relationship with his mother and is set primarily on the Spokane Indian Reservation where he grew up.

Mary Gaitskill, Somebody With a Little Hammer
US novelist Gaitskill takes on non-fiction in this collection of essays in which she discusses the Talking Heads, Björk, Norman Mailer and Linda Lovelace, covering personal subjects while delving into the American unconscious.

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First Published: Jul 11, 2017 12:18 IST