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PSY 2223: Gender in Society: Memoir Assignment

Book 1 Options


Wiesel, Elie. (1995). All rivers run to the sea : memoir. New York : Knopf. PQ2683.I32 Z52313 1995



Plath, Sylvia. (1971). The bell jar. New York : Harper & Row. PS3566.L27 B4 1971x

(United States) Esther Greenwood, a talented college student, finds herself estranged from her family and resigned to a conventional lifestyle and descends into depression and mental illness.

Lancaster, Jen. (2006). Bitter is the new blackconfessions of a condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered, smart-ass, or, why you should never carry a Prada bag to the unemployment office : a memoir. New York : New American Library. HD6095 .L27 2006

(United States)

Korn, Fadumo. (2006). Born in the big rains : a memoir of Somalia and survival. New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York. GN484 .K6613 2006


Danticat, Edwidge. (2007). Brother, I'm dying. New York : Alfred A. Knopf. Bestseller PS3554.A5815 Z46 2007

(Haiti) Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph, a charismatic pastor, as her "second father" when she was placed in his care at age four when her parents left Haiti for America. So she experiences a jumble of emotions when, at twelve, she joins her parents in New York City, whom she struggles to remember--she has left behind Joseph and the only home she’s ever known. The story of a new life in a new country while fearing for those still in Haiti soon becomes a terrifying tale of good people caught up in events beyond their control. In 2004, his life threatened by a gang, the frail, 81-year-old Joseph makes his way to Miami, where he thinks he will be safe. Instead, he is detained by the Department of Homeland Security, brutally imprisoned, and dead within days. It was a story that made headlines around the world.--From publisher description.

Zonana, Joyce. (2008). Dream homes: from Cairo to Katrina : an exile's journey. New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York. E184.37 .Z66 2008


Hirsi, Ali Ayaan. (2007). Infidel. New York : Free Press. Bestseller DJ292.H57 A3 2007

(Somalia) "In this memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West." "One of today's most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following an Islamist's murder of her colleague, Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the movie Submission." "Infidel is the eagerly awaited story of the coming of age of this elegant, distinguished -- and sometimes reviled - political superstar and champion of free speech. Hirsi Ali recounts the evolution of her beliefs, her ironclad will, and her extraordinary resolve to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Raised in a strict Muslim family and extended clan, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries largely ruled by despots. In her early twenties, she escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim immigrant women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament. Even though she is under constant threat - demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians, disowned by her father, and expelled from her family and clan - she refuses to be silenced." "Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali's story tells how a bright little girl evolved out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken, pioneering freedom fighter. As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious pressures, no story could be timelier or more significant."--BOOK JACKET.

Rothenberg, Paula S. (2000). Invisible privilege : a memoir about race, class, and gender. Lawrence : University Press of Kansas. E185.615 .R68 2000

(United States) "In this candid look at the realities of social and academic privilege, Rothenberg shares incidents from her life and the lives of family and friends to show how privilege is constructed and to reveal the forces that make us unaware of it. Through recollections of her childhood in an upper-middle-class Jewish family and her college years in the sixties, she tells us how she discovered that the world she took for granted as "everyday life" was in fact riddled with privilege." "Reviewing the social upheaval of the seventies that challenged fundamental assumptions about gender roles, race relations, and even the nature of the family, Rothenberg tells how she gained a new understanding of what it meant to be an educator and activist. She shares personal events surrounding the publication of Race, Class and Gender to offer an insider’s perspective on the culture wars, and brings her story into the 1990s with a cogent discussion of hate speech and the controversy over "political correctness."".

Beauvoir, Simone de. (1959). Memoirs of a dutiful daughter. Cleveland : World Pub. Co. PQ2603.E362 Z523 1959



Wiesel. Elie. (2006). Night. New York : Hill andWang. PQ2683.I32 U6 2006



Satrapi, Marjane. (2003). Persepolis. New York : Pantheon Books. PN6747.S245 P4713 2003

(Iran) An intelligent and outspoken only child, Satrapi--the daughter of radical Marxists and the great-granddaughter of Iran’s last emperor--bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Originally published to wide critical acclaim in France, where it elicited comparisons to Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane’s child’s-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

Trevor, Terra. (2006). Pushing up the sky : a mother's story. El Dorado Hills, Calif. : Korean-American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network. HV874.82.T73 A3 2006

(American Indian)



Nafisi, Azar. (2003). Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books. New York :  Random House. PE64.N34 A3 2003

(Iran) We all have dreams--things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi's dream and of the nightmare that made it come true. For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading--Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita--their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran. Nafisi's account flashes back to the early days of the revolution, when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi's class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of "the Great Satan," she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense. Azar Nafisi's luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women's lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice. From the Hardcover edition.

Donofrio, Beverly. (1992, c1990). Riding in cars with boys : confessions of a bad girl who makes good. New York : Penguin. PS3554.O536 R5 1990

(United States)

Allende, Isabel. (2008). The sum of our days. New York, NY : Harper. PQ8098.1.L54 Z46 2008

(Chile) In this memoir, Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of tragic loss--the death of her daughter, Paula. Recalling the past thirteen years from the daily letters the author and her mother, who lives in Chile, wrote to each other, Allende ... recounts the stories of the wildly eccentric, strong-minded, and eclectic tribe she gathers around her that becomes a new kind of family. Throughout, Allende shares her thoughts on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, infidelity, addiction, and memory. Here, too, are the amazing stories behind Allende’s books, the superstitions that guide her writing process, and her adventurous travels.--From

Randall, Margaret. (2009). To change the world : my years in Cuba. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press. F1765.2 .F36 2009



Chang, Jung. (2003). Wild swans : three daughters of China. New York : Touchstone. CT1828.C478 A3 2003

(China) A Chinese woman chronicles the struggle of her grandmother, her mother, and herself to survive in a China torn apart by wars, invasions, revolution, and continuing upheaval, from 1907 to the present.

Didiion, Joan. (2005). The year of magical thinking. New York : Aflred A. Knopf. PS3554.I33 Z63 2005


Chao, Evelina. (2004). Yeh Yeh’s house. New York : St. Martin’s Press. PS3553.H276 Z477 2004


Book 2 Options

McCourt, Frank. (1996). Angela's ashes : a memoir. New York : Scribner. E184.I6 M117 1996

Cao, Guanlong. (1998, c1996). The attic : memoir of a Chinese landlord’s son. Berkeley : University of California Press. PL2912.A5335 A77 1998


Coetzee, J. M. (1998). Boyhood : scenes from provincial life. New York, N.Y. : Penguin Books. PR9369.3.C58 Z463 1998

(South Africa)

Eteraz, Ali. (2009). Children of dust : a memoir of Pakistan. New York, NY : HarperOne. BP80.E85 C45 2009

From Eteraz’s schooling in a madrassa in Pakistan to his teenage years as a Muslim American in the Bible Belt, and back to Pakistan to find a pious Muslim wife, this saga captures the heart of our universal quest for identity.

Baker, Russell. (1982). Growing up. New York : Congdon & Weed : Distributed by St. Martin’s Press. PS3552.A4343 Z466 1982


Eggers, Dave. (2000). A heartbreaking work of staggering genius. New York : Simon & Schuster. CT275.E37 A3 2000

Beah, Ishmael. (2007). A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Bestseller DT516.828.B43 A3 2007

Fox, Michael J. (2002). Lucky man : a memoir. New York : Hyperion. PN2308.F69 F69 2002

Glassco, John. (2007). Memoirs of Montparnasse. New York : New York Review Books. PR9199.3.G574 Z46 2007


Burroughs, Augusten. (2002). Running with scissors : a memoir. New York : Picador. PS3552.U745 Z477 2002

Small, David. (2009). Stitches : a memoir. New York : W.W. Norton & Co. PN6727.S54465 Z46 2009

Wolff, Tobias. (1989). This boy's life. New York : Grove Press. PS3573.O558 Z477 1989b

Fermor, Patrick Leigh. (2005). A time of giftson foot to Constantinople : from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube. New York : New York Review Books. D923 .F47 2005

(England and Germany)

Alborn, Mitch. (1997). Tuesdays with Morrie : an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson. New York : Doubleday. LD571.B418 S383 1997

Wise, Tim J. (2008). White like me : reflections on race from a privileged son. Brooklyn, N.Y. : Soft Skull Press. E185.615 .W565 2008 and E185.615 .W565 2005


Book 3 Options


Peck, Scott. (1999, c1995). All-American boy : a memoir. New York : Scribner. HQ76.8.P43 A3 1999

Hooks, Bell. (1996). Bone Black : memories of girlhood. New York : Henry Holt and Co. E185.97.H77 A3 1996

Anzaldúa, Gloria. (2007). Borderlands : the new mestiza = La frontera. San Francisco : Aunt Lute Books. PS3551.N95 B6 2007

Louganis, Greg. (1996). Breaking the surface. New York : Plume. GV838.L68 A3 1996

Sedaris, David. (2004). Dress your family in corduroy and denim. New York : Little, Brown. PS3569.E314 R47 2004

Bechdel, Alison. (2006). Fun home : a family tragicomic. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. Bestseller PN6727.B3757 Z46 2006

McNaron, Toni A. H. (1997). Poisoned ivy : lesbian and gay academics confronting homophobia. Philadelphia : Temple University Press. LC212.862 .M35 1997

Vincent, Norah. (2006). Self-made man : one woman's journey into manhood and back again. New York : Viking. HQ1075 .V546 2006

For more than a year and a half Vincent ventured into the world as Ned, with an ever-present five o’clock shadow and a crew cut--a perfect disguise that enabled her to observe the world of men as an insider. With her buddies on the bowling league she enjoyed the rough and rewarding embrace of male camaraderie; a stint in a high-octane sales job taught her the gut-wrenching pressures endured by men who would do anything to succeed; she frequented sex clubs, dated women hungry for love but bitter about men, and infiltrated all-male communities including a men’s therapy group and even a monastery. She ended her journey astounded--and exhausted--by the rigid codes and rituals of masculinity.--From publisher description.

Hulse, Bruce. (2008). Sex, love, and fashion : a memoir of a male model. New York : Harmony Books. HD8039.M772 U55 2008

A leading male model offers a glimpse inside the decadent world of high fashion during the 1980s and 1990s, revealing the sex, drugs, extravagance, intense competition, and indulgence of the era while chronicling his own experiences.

Allison, Dorothy. (1996, c1995). Two or three things I know for sure. New York : Plume. PS3551.L453 Z476 1996

An autobiographical work written for the stage explores such topics as love and loss, beauty and terror, and the intricacies of family love and hatred, while illuminating the rural poverty of the South.

Hooks, Bell. (1999, c1997). Wounds of passion : a writing life. New York : H. Holt. E185.97.H77 A38 1999