A memoir to remember: Author Abeer Hoque picks 5 of her favourite memoirs

The international author picks memoirs that tell moving stories and why you should read them

brunch Updated: May 14, 2018 11:45 IST
Abeer Hoque
Abeer Hoque
Hindustan Times
memoir,abeer hoque,olive witch
Five memoirs you must add to your bookshelf

1.Miss Ex-Yugoslavia: A Memoir by Sofija Stefanovic

Miss Ex-Yugoslavia

Miss Ex-Yugoslavia is Sofija Stefanovic’s wry and thoughtful memoir about growing up across Serbian and Australian cultures, while the country of her birth, Yugoslavia, slowly and brutally disintegrates. Stefanovic manages wit and charm in abundance despite the often heavy hearted subjects.

2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, is about her struggle to rebuild her life by hiking 1100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s written with a vibrant personal tone, and tells a compelling, complex, beautifully structured and paced story of families, relationships, ambition, love, loss, landscape, and redemption.

3. Ants Among Elephants by Sujatha Gidla

Ants Among Elephants

Ants Among Elephants is Sujatha Gidla’s memoir about her family, who are untouchables in India, as well as a compelling history of caste and society in the country. For someone like me who didn’t grow up in India or South Asia, it was/is a horrifying and eye-opening education, as well as an inspirational story of struggle and accomplishment.

4. Drawing Blood by Molly Crabapple

Drawing Blood

Drawing Blood is a graphic memoir by Molly Crabapple, an American visual artist, activist, and writer. Anyone who’s interested in memoir or art or feminism or burlesque or travelling or activism, or just flat out charming thoughtful beautiful prose interleaved with gorgeous portraits and taunting filigreed paintings about our war torn world should run out and get a copy.

5. Shrill ­ by Lindy West

Shrill

Shrill is a sharp funny warm memoir by Lindy West. The issues she tackles in her book - misogyny, trolling, acts of hatred and intimidation (in her case, as a fat person and a woman), and the backlash against women in public spheres (in her case, comedy) – are ever more relevant and pressing. This is not to say that Shrill is dire or dense political reading. In fact, it’s a kind of holy grail of non-fiction writing – the kind that reads breezy and hilarious, but kicks some serious feminist ass.

Abeer Y. Hoque is a Nigeria-born Bangladeshi-American writer and photographer who identifies herself as a third culture kid. Her latest book, Olive Witch, is an intimate memoir about taking the long way home.

As told to Samreen Tungekar

From HT Brunch, May 13, 2018

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First Published: May 13, 2018 00:48 IST