Blog # 82: Matremoir List and List of Family Memoirs

Updated List of Patremoirs

And here is the list of matremoirs, with, as an added bonus, a list of family memoirs. Sometimes father and mother are hard to disentangle.


1) Agosin, Marjorie. A Cross and a Star (2011)
2) Al-Shaykh, Hanan. The Locust and the Bird (2011)
3) Ashworth, Andrea. Once In a House On Fire (2007)
4) Bartok, Mira. The Memory Palace: A Memoir (2011)
5) Black, Kathryn. In the Shadow of Polio: A Personal and Social History (1997)
6) Bragg, Rick. All Over but the Shoutin’ (1998)
7) Briscoe, Constance. Ugly (2009)
8] Burgess, Steve. Who Killed Mom? (2011)
9) Chambers, Veronica. Mama’s Girl (2003)
10) Chernin, Kim. In My Mother’s House (1985)
11) Crawford, Christine. Mommie Dearest (1978)
12) Darznik, Jasmin. The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life (2011)
13) Dickerson, John. On Her Trail: My Mother, Nancy Dickerson, TV News’ First Woman Star (2006)
14) Diski, Jenny. Skating to Antartica (1997)
15) Epstein, Helen. Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for her Mother’s History (2005)
16) Fisher, Florence. The Search for Anna Fisher (1973)
17) Francis, Melissa. Diary of A Stage Mother’s Daughter (2012)
18) Fraser, Rosalie. Shadow Child: A Memoir of the Stolen Generation (1998)
19) Freedman, Samuel. Who She Was: My Search for My Mother’s Life (2005)
20) Gordon, Mary. Circling My Mother: A Memoir (2007)
21) Gornick, Vivian. Fierce Attachments: A Memoir (1987)
22) Gottlieb, Erika. Becoming My Mother’s Daughter: A Story of Survival and Renewal (2008)
23) Harrison, Kathryn. The Mother Knot: A Memoir (2005)
24) Holtz, Debra Levi. Of Unknown Origins: A Memoir (2001)
25) Johnston, Sue. Things I Couldn’t Tell My Mother (2011)
26) Jones, Kaylie. Lies My Mother Never Told Me (2009)
27) Kingston, Maxine Hong. Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts (1989)
28) Leavitt, Sarah. Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me (2012, graphic narrative)
29) Lindbergh, Reeve. No More Words: A Journal of My Mother, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (2001)
30) Luxenberg, Steve. Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into Family Secret (2009)
31) McBride, James. The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother (1995)
32) Mehta, Ved. Mamaji (1979)
33) Morgan, Sally. My Place (1987)
34) Morisson, Blake. Things My Mother Never Told Me (2002)
35) Myers, Alyse. Who Do You Think You Are?: A Memoir (2009)
36) Nekola, Charlotte. Dream House (1993)
37) Pratt, James Michael. Mom: The Woman Who Made Oatmeal Stick to My Ribs (2004)
38) Rappaport, Nancy. In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide (2009)
39) Reichl, Ruth. Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way (2009)
40) Rhodes, Richard. A Hole in the World: An American Boyhood (1990)
41) Russo, Richard. Elsewhere: A Memoir (2012)
42) Schwalbe, Will. The End of Your Life Book Club (2012)
43) Sholl, Jessie. Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother’s Compulsive Hoarding (2010)
44) Sonnenberg, Susanna. Her Last Death: A Memoir (2008)
45) Steiker, Valerie. The Leopard Hat: A Daughter’s Story (2002)
46) Thynne, Lizzie: On the Border (2012, documentary film)
47) Winterson, Jeanette. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (2011)
48) Witchel, Alex. All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia (2012)


1) Lott, Tim. The Scent of Dried Roses (1997)
2) Bechdel, Alison. Are You My Mother? (2012)
3) Steedman, Carolyn. Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives (1986)
4) Gwin, Minrose. Wishing for Snow: A Memoir (2004)
5) Romm, Robin. The Mercy Papers (2009)
6) Campanella, Linda. When All That’s Left of Me is Love: A Daughter’s Story of Letting Go (2011)
7) Lyden, Jacki. Daughter of the Queen of Sheba (1998)
8) Lawless, Wendy. Chanel Bonfire: A Memoir (2013)
9) Georges, Nicole. Calling Dr. Laura (2013, graphic narrative)
10) Ruta, Domenica. With or Without You (2013)
11) Parker, Sachi. Lucky Me: My Life With–and Without–My Mom, Shirley MacLaine (2013)
12) Faderman, Lillian. My Mother’s Wars (2013)
13) Brockes, Emma. She Left Me the Gun (2013)
14) Leng, Flavia. Daphne du Maurier: A Daughter’s Memoir (1999)
15) Large, Storm. Crazy Enough: A Memoir (2012)
16) Henrikson, Lynn Cook. Telltale Souls: Writing the Mother Memoir (2012)
17) O’Dell, Carol. Mothering Mother (2007)
18) Cooney, Eleanor. Death in Slow Motion: A Memoir of a Daughter, Her Mother, and the Beast Called Alzheimer’s (2004)
19) Bluman, Barbara Ruth. I Have My Mother’s Eyes: A Holocaust Memoir Across Generations (2009)
20) Norry, Marilyn (Ed.). My Mother’s Story: The Originals (2012, anthology)
21) Norry, Marilyn (Ed.). My Mother’s Story: North Vancouver (2012, anthology)
22) Holman, Virginia. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Growing Up Sane In a Decade Gone Mad (2004)
23) Ziegler, Maggie. The Road to Keringet (2012)
24) Angelou, Maya. Mom & Me & Mom (2013)
25) Haffner, Katie. Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir (2013)
26) St. Germain, Justin. Son of a Gun: A Memoir (2013)
27) Grant, Linda. Remind Me Who I Am, Again. (2011)
28) Solnit, Rebecca. The Faraway Nearby (2013)
29) Bachrach, Nancy. The Center of the Universe (2009)
30) Ellroy, James. My Dark Places (1997)
31) Rieff, David. Swimming in a Sea of Death (2008)
32) Harding, Jeremy. Mother Country (2010)
33) Mathews, Lola. My Mother, My Writing, and Me (2009)
34) Segrave, Elisa. The Girl from Station X: My Mother’s Unknown Life (2013)
35) Roitman, Gina. My Mother, the Nazi Midwife, and Me (2013, documentary film)
36) Benedict, Elizabeth. What My Mother Gave Me (2013, anthology)
37) Adesso, Vicki; Hodara, Susan; Potter, Joan; and Toppel, Lori. Still Here Thinking of You: A Second Chance With Our Mothers (2013, four pieces)
38) Bunton, Penny. Ghost in the Bone

Here, as well, is a list of family memoirs. This list is less complete than the matremoir and patremoir lists, and more amorphous. I’ve included it because I wanted to call attention to some exceptional family centered memoirs such as Stitches, The Glass Castle, and This Boy’s Life. Michael Ondaatje’s Running In the Family could easily have been included here, instead of in the patremoir section. I suspect I’ll be adding many more books to this category, and I’m sure that there will be many arguments about categorization. When it comes to parents and families, arguments are inevitable.

(family memoirs: neoligism fever is insidious)

1) Briggs, Raymond. Ethel and Ernest: A True Story (2009, graphic narrative)
2) Darst, Jeanne. Fiction Ruined My Family (2011)
3) Dawidoff, Nicholas. The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness, and Baseball (2008)
4) Davis, Lennard. My Sense of Silence: Memoirs of a Childhood with Deafness (2000)
5) Farmer, Joyce. Special Exits (2010, graphic narrative)
6) Fawcett, Brian. Human Happiness (2011)
7) Fremont, Helen. After Long Silence (2000)
8] Fuller, Alexandra. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (2003)
9) Geist, Mary Ellen. Measure of the Heart: A Father’s Alzheimer’s, A Daughter’s Return (2008)
10) Lessing, Doris. Alfred and Emily (2008)
11) Lindbergh, Reeve. Under a Wing: A Memoir (1998)
12) Mar, Elaine. Paper Daughter (1996)
13) Martinez, Domingo. The Boy Kings of Texas (2012)
14) Meeropol, Robert. An Execution in the Family: One Son’s Journey (2003)
15) Norris, Michelle. The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir (2011)
16) O’Brien, Sharon. The Family Silver: A Memoir of Depression and Inheritance (2004)
17) O’Connor, Mike. Crisis, Pursued By Disaster, Followed Closely By Catastrophe: A Memoir of Life On the Run (2007)
18) Pandl, Julia. Memoirs of the Sunday Brunch (2012)
19) Senna, Danzy. Where Did You Sleep Last Night: A Personal History (2009)
20) Slovo, Gillian. Every Secret Thing: My Family, My Country (1997)
21) Slaughter, Carolyn. Before the Knife (2002)
22) Small, David. Stitches (2009, graphic narrative)
23) Thompson, Brian. Keeping Mum: A Wartime Childhood (2006)
24) Walker, Rebecca. Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self (2002)
25) Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle (2005)
26) Whitaker, Mark. My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir (2011)
27) Wolff, Tobias. This Boy’s Life (1989)


1) McGahern, John. Memoir (2006)
2) Karr, Mary. The Liars Club (1995)

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »


  1. Anne Rüggemeier says:

    Dear André,

    I love that list. I work on relational autobiographies – lots of which are of course also patremoirs or matremoirs :-)

    Another matremoir would be Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel: Are You my Mother?(2012)

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