As the pandemic stretches on into year two, it’s no surprise that this season’s titles focus largely on ideas of home. Readers can also expect plenty of laughs in a memoir from Molly Shannon, plus inspiring stories from numerous trailblazers.
Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional
Isaac Fitzgerald. Bloomsbury, July 19 ($28, ISBN 978-1-63557-397-8)
The founding editor of Buzzfeed Books chronicles his path from growing up in a homeless shelter to rising through the ranks of New York’s literary scene. With a 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Viola Davis. HarperOne, Apr. 5 ($28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-303732-8)
The Oscar Award– and Tony Award–winning actor offers a behind-the-scenes look at her life and career, from her impoverished upbringing in Rhode Island to garnering fans around the world for her on-screen performances.
From the Hood to the Holler: A Story of Separate Worlds, Shared Dreams, and the Fight for America’s Future
Charles Booker. Crown, Apr. 26 ($27, ISBN 978-0-593-24034-2)
Booker reveals how he rose from a poverty-stricken boyhood to become the youngest Black state legislator in Kentucky.
Molly Shannon and Sean Wilsey. Ecco, Apr. 12 ($27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-305623-7)
The SNL legend opens up about her complicated past and reflects on her boundary-breaking career in comedy.
Home/Land: A Memoir of Departure and Return
Rebecca Mead. Knopf, Feb. 8 ($27, ISBN 978-0-525-65871-9)
New Yorker writer Mead meditates on her return to London after years of living in New York City in this investigation of home and belonging.
Rafael Agustin. Grand Central, July 12 ($29, ISBN 978-1-5387-0594-0)
Agustin recounts the reckoning he faced in high school after finding out that his parents were undocumented immigrants. With a 60,000-copy announced first printing.
In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss
Amy Bloom. Random House, Mar. 8 ($26, ISBN 978-0-593-24394-7)
“Novelist Bloom looks back on the beauty and turmoil of accompanying her husband through the final days of his life in this deeply moving memoir,” according to PW’s starred review.
Kelly Ripa. Dey Street, Apr. 19 ($28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-307330-2)
The talk show host offers a personal look at the best and worst moments of her life as a TV personality and mother.
Out of the Corner
Jennifer Grey. Ballantine, May 3 ($28, ISBN 978-0-593-35670-8)
The star of Dirty Dancing details how she rebuilt her life after a botched plastic surgery procedure upended her career.
Janet Malcolm. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, July 12 ($26, ISBN 978-0-374-60513-1)
In this posthumous memoir, the legendary New Yorker staff writer profiles herself via a series of photos.
Memoirs & Biographies Listings
Sofia Coppola: Forever Young by Hannah Strong, illus. by Little White Lies (May 17, $45, ISBN 978-1-4197-5552-1) celebrates the Academy Award–winning writer and director’s filmography with an illustrated deep-dive into her most acclaimed movies—The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation among them.
North to Paradise: A Memoir by Ousman Umar, trans. by Kevin Gerry Dunn (Mar. 1, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-5420-3011-3) retraces Umar’s five-year trek from his childhood home in Ghana to Europe along one of Africa’s most treacherous migrant routes.
What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo (Feb. 22, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-23810-3). Journalist Foo, a former radio producer at This American Life, recalls how she overcame years of trauma and reclaimed her life after being diagnosed with complex PTSD as an adult.
Uncommon Measure: A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time by Natalie Hodges (Mar. 22, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-942658-97-9). Korean American musician Hodges reflects on how she came to redefine her relationship to music after giving up her dream of becoming a concert solo violinist.
A Life in Light: Meditations on Impermanence by Mary Pipher (May 3, $26, ISBN 978-1-63557-758-7). Pipher mines her past and experience as a psychologist to offer up ways one can find hope and joy in life’s darkest moments. 175,000-copy announced first printing.
You’ve Changed: Fake Accents, Feminism, and Other Comedies from Myanmar by Pyae Moe Thet War (May 3, $26, ISBN 978-1-64622-107-3) explores love, identity, and the concept of home through recollections of the author’s time living in the U.S. and Yangon.
Growing Up Biden: A Memoir by Valerie Biden Owens (Apr. 12, $28, ISBN 978-1-250-82176-8). The younger sister of President Biden and one of the first female campaign managers in U.S. history reflects on her upbringing, political career, and bond with her brother Joe. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Brown Neon by Raquel Gutiérrez (June 7, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-56689-637-5). In a debut memoir in essays, Gutiérrez travels across literal and figurative lands to interrogate the ways queerness, space, and identities intersect.
Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha taqʷŠəblu LaPointe (Mar. 8, $23, ISBN 978-1-64009-414-7) is a love letter to punk rock and LaPointe’s Indigenous roots as she searches for a home and healing in the Pacific Northwest’s Coast Salish territory.
A Redemptive Path Forward: From Incarceration to a Life of Activism by Antong Lucky (May 17, $26, ISBN 978-1-64009-534-2). Lucky recalls his past as a gang leader and the path that led him to becoming a champion for nonviolence in his Dallas neighborhood.
Brazen: My Unorthodox Journey from Long Sleeves to Lingerie by Julia Haart (Mar. 8, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-23916-2) recounts the author’s departure at age 42 from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community she grew up in and the success she found afterward as one of the fashion industry’s most powerful CEOs.
Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility by Michelle Tea (May 31, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-321062-2) follows essayist Tea’s winding path to motherhood as a queer 40-year-old woman.
In on the Joke: The Original Queens of Standup Comedy by Shawn Levy (Apr. 5, $30, ISBN 978-0-385-54578-5) explores the lives of the pioneering women comics—from Black vaudeville performer Moms Mabley to Joan Rivers—who blazed the trail for today’s women comedians
Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency by Mark K. Updegrove (Apr. 12, $29, ISBN 978-1-5247-4574-5). Presidential historian Updegrove takes an in-depth look at JFK’s time in the White House and the mark he left on America after his death. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Fruit Punch: A Memoir by Kendra Allen (July 5, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-304853-9) paints a personal portrait of growing up Black in America by reflecting on her turbulent coming-of-age in the South.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
This Body I Wore: A Memoir by Diana Goetsch (May 24, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-11509-8). Poet and essayist Goetsch places the story of her path to gender transition against the backdrop of the trans community’s decades-long battle for visibility and equality.
Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation by Erika Krouse (Mar. 15, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-24030-9) mixes memoir and true crime to tell the story of a sexual assault investigation that grew into a landmark civil rights case and changed the author’s life.
Back to the Prairie
by Melissa Gilbert (May 10, $28, ISBN 978-1-9821-7718-8). The actor who played Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie recounts how she traded in her Hollywood career for love and a house in the country.
This Might Be Too Personal: And Other Intimate Stories by Alyssa Shelasky (May 17, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-250-81088-5). The editor of New York magazine’s “Sex Diaries” offers a collection of musings on sex, motherhood, love, and all the messy rewards that come from a life of never settling.
Black Market: An Insider’s Journey into the High-Stakes World of College Basketball by Merl Code (Mar. 1, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-335-42577-5) uses Code’s background as a basketball player for Clemson University to expose the complicated history of racism and exploitation in college sports. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
The Movement Made Us: A Generational Fight for Civil Rights by David J. Dennis Jr. and David J. Dennis Sr. (May 10, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-301142-7). A father and son chronicle the fight for racial justice in America through the lens of the civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (Feb. 1, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-77674-7) recounts how Vasquez-Lavado faced her fears and set out on a quest to climb the seven tallest mountains in the world.
I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir by Harvey Fierstein (Mar. 1, $30, ISBN 978-0-593-32052-5). The gay rights activist and Tony Award–winning actor offers a backstage look at the adversity he overcame to achieve a career in the spotlight. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir by Delia Ephron (Apr. 12, $29, ISBN 978-0-316-26765-6). The famed rom-com writer reflects on getting a second chance at love, after losing her husband of over 30 years, and beating cancer with the help of her partner and friends.
What’s So Funny? A Cartoonist’s Memoir by David Sipress (Mar. 8, $28, ISBN 978-0-358-65909-9). Longtime New Yorker cartoonist Sipress sketches out the most memorable moments of his life and career.
Thin Places by Kerri ní Dochartaigh (Apr. 12, $24, ISBN 978-1-57131-195-5) chronicles Ireland’s fraught history through one woman’s experience growing up in a divided house on the border of the country’s North and South during the height of the Troubles.
The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo by Garrett Hongo (Feb. 15, $30, ISBN 978-0-375-42506-6). Poet Hongo traces how his obsession with audio shaped his identity growing up as a Japanese American boy in 1960s Los Angeles and influenced his writing as an adult.
Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory by Sarah Polley (Mar. 1, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-30035-0). In six essays, the Canadian actor and activist looks back at her troubled past and how, after suffering from a concussion, she resolved to forge a path to recovery.
Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir by Bob Odenkirk (Mar. 1, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-18051-4). “Comedian and actor Odenkirk spills on the good, the bad, and oftentimes hilarious moments of his life in this gleeful and irreverent memoir,” said PW’s starred review.
Saved: My Picture World by Diane Keaton (Mar. 15, $55, ISBN 978-0-8478-7128-5). The Academy Award– and Golden Globe Award–winning actor ruminates on everything from her love of B horror movies to the eccentricities of Hollywood Boulevard.
Rowman & Littlefield
Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor’s Journey to Broadway’s Biggest Stage by Mickey Rowe (Mar. 15, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-5381-6312-2) details how Rowe defied the cultural stereotypes he faced growing up autistic and legally blind to become a successful Broadway actor.
How I Survived a Chinese “Reeducation” Camp: A Uyghur Woman Speaks Out by Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Rozenn Morgat, trans. by Edward Gauvin (Feb. 22, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-64421-148-9). Haitiwaji opens up about the three years of torture she endured in one of China’s notorious re-education camps. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
The Red Zone: A Love Story by Chloe Caldwell (Apr. 19 $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-59376-699-3). Caldwell researches her menstrual cycle to interrogate patterns in her relationships and identity.
Corrections in Ink: A Memoir
by Keri Blakinger (June 7, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-27285-0). Journalist Blakinger offers a critique of America’s prison system in this reflection on her own time behind bars after becoming addicted to heroin.
The Shape of Sound by Fiona Murphy (Apr. 12, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-922330-51-2). Poet Murphy explores the ways in which the deaf and disabled are stigmatized in society, and her decision to finally embrace her identity after hiding her deafness for 25 years.
The Year of the Horses by Courtney Maum (May 3, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-953534-15-6) relates how, after 30 years out of the saddle, Maum got back into horseback riding as a way to recover herself. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
This Time for Me: A Memoir by Alexandra Billings (Apr. 5, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-5420-2941-4). The trans actor and activist writes of her path to achieving her on-screen dreams while weaving in the decades-long history of the fight for LGBTQ rights.[strong]
I Can Take It from Here: A Memoir of Trauma, Prison and Self-Empowerment by Lisa Forbes (June 7, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-58642-304-9) recalls the writer’s 14 years in a maximum-security prison and confronts the vicious cycles within society that often lead to incarceration.
Univ. of Texas
Plagues and Pencils: A Year of Pandemic Sketches by Edward Carey (Apr. 19, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4773-2586-5). Novelist and illustrator Carey offers a visual chronicle of 2020 in the form of sketches and cultural musings.
Burn the Page: A True Story of Torching Doubts, Blazing Trails, and Igniting Change by Danica Roem (Apr. 26, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-29655-4). The first trans person elected to a U.S. state legislature, Roem reflects on her life before making history, from her difficult childhood to her campaign to unseat a 26-year incumbent.
His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa (May 17, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-49061-7). Washington Post reporters Samuels and Olorunnipa uncover the outsize role that racism and inequality played in George Floyd’s life and death.
The Traitor by Anabel Hernández (June 28, $17, ISBN 978-0-593-31169-1) combines Hernández’s reporting with the firsthand testimony of a former member of El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel to reveal the inner workings of one of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartels.