Unorthodox

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This new Netflix miniseries about a woman growing up in a strict Hasidic Judaism sect in Brooklyn who flees her arranged marriage and cuts ties with the community is loosely based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. The four-episode series is directed by Maria Schrader and stars Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, and Jeff Wilbusch.

Rebecca Solnit and Emma Watson

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“I successfully avoided husbands and children and day jobs—those things can all really interfere with your productivity.” In an interview with Emma Watson, Rebecca Solnit discusses how she has managed to write so prolifically, the communication of information as a cultural phenomenon, and the themes in her first memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence (Viking, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Not Quite Not White

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“It’s a story of a young girl who comes to America in the early 1980s and, among many other things, discovers something called race,” says Sharmila Sen about her debut memoir, Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America (Penguin Books, 2018), which won the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in nonfiction.

Sarah M. Broom

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“If we truly love a place and are tethered to a place, then it’s our job to get to know that place.” In this Good Morning America interview, Sarah M. Broom speaks about her debut memoir, The Yellow House (Grove Press, 2019), which is a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in nonfiction.

Just Mercy

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau, 2014) by Bryan Stevenson, a memoir recounting his experience as a young defense attorney fighting for a death row inmate wrongfully convicted of murder, has been adapted into a feature film. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the legal drama stars Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rafe Spall.

Notes to A Tribe Called Quest

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“It’s a book about a rap group, but, more particularly, a book that is examining how fandom seeps into our lives.” In this PBS NewHour video, Hanif Abdurraqib speaks with Amna Nawaz about his memoir, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press, 2019), and the ways in which music intertwines with identity and the poignant moments in our lives.

Adrienne Brodeur

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“The very act of reading is an empathetic act.” In this Aspen Institute video, Adrienne Brodeur talks about her writing process and reads from her debut memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), which is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

How We Fight for Our Lives

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“I wanted to encapsulate the experience I was having, and particularly the memories in terms of what they mean to me now, as someone who’s thirty-three years old.” At Unbound, a literary series copresented by BAM and Greenlight Bookstore, Saeed Jones talks about the drive that compelled him to write his debut memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives (Simon & Schuster, 2019), which is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Call Me American

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“The book clearly describes the horror, the conflict, the chaos, the death, the trauma that came from the war, and then after that, the invisible dream that I started pursuing.” Abdi Nor Iftin, author of the debut memoir, Call Me American (Knopf, 2018), talks about growing up during the civil war in Somalia and what the American dream means to him.

Roughhouse Friday

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“Every conversation between us then had a way of spiraling into the same abyss. Real men were impossible to understand. Real men suffered. Real men were broken.” Jaed Coffin reads from his second memoir, Roughhouse Friday (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019), which is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, and talks about his experiences barroom boxing in Alaska with Kathryn Miles for Portland Public Library’s Literary Lunch series.

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