Category: Autobiography

Down to the Bone: A Leukemia Story by Catherine Pioli

What an absorbing, educational and ultimately devastating graphic novel depicting the artist’s own journey with cancer, from diagnosis through treatment until her own untimely end. Catherine Pioli never got sick or injured as a child, so thinks she’s finally outrun her long streak of good health when her back and shoulder pain get so bad …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/12/16/down-to-the-bone-a-leukemia-story-by-catherine-pioli/

Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Once I got into it — this winter, after failing last winter — this went by fast, and why not, it’s a collection of short autobiographical, ostensibly seasonal snippets from a Norwegian author who’s often mentioned as a potential Nobel laureate. As an object, the edition of Winter that I have is a lovely book: thick …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/12/03/winter-by-karl-ove-knausgaard/

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz has a captivating mind. In Native Realm he invites readers to join him on what his subtitle calls “A Search for Self-Definition,” and is a journey from the wooded interior of what is today Lithuania, where he was born into a family of Polish-speaking gentry, through his young adulthood in interwar Warsaw, past …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/26/native-realm-by-czeslaw-milosz/

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Seldom does a book’s title fit so perfectly, so terribly as Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski (pron. “Chap-ski”). He was born into an aristocratic Polish family in Prague, at a time when that city was ruled from Vienna as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Czapski grew up near Minsk, in present-day Belarus; he finished his …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/23/inhuman-land-by-jozef-czapski/

Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch

Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch

If not for Donald Fucking Trump, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch would have had a long, distinguished and inspiring career serving the United States of America that nevertheless remained practically unknown outside the circles of her work. Perhaps she would have been best known for providing a crucial piece of local knowledge when the embassy in Mogadishu …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/15/lessons-from-the-edge-by-marie-yovanovitch/

The Tryout: A Graphic Novel by Christina Soontornvat & Joanna Cacao

Author Christina Soontornvat wasn’t sure whether anyone would care about her experiences with middle school, but was eventually persuaded to write about one of the most cringe episodes of her own pre-teen career in this wryly moving graphic novel. I’m so glad she did. It’s not easy being one of the few Thai people in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/09/09/the-tryout-a-graphic-novel-by-christina-soontornvat-joanna-cacao/

Still Just A Geek: An Annotated Collection Of Musings by Wil Wheaton

I make it a habit of avoiding memoirs published by men in their 30s, so never got around to reading Wil Wheaton’s Just A Geek, despite it seeming squarely in my wheelhouse. Reading this annotated version drove home to me how wise that policy continues to be, despite the many interests the author and I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/04/13/still-just-a-geek-an-annotated-collection-of-musings-by-wil-wheaton/

Wir sind Gefangene by Oskar Maria Graf

Wir sind Gefangene by Oskar Maria Graf

For about the first eighty percent of Wir sind Gefangene (We Are Prisoners), my assessment of the book was that I could see why it was a sensation in the 1920s but couldn’t see much to recommend it for readers of the 2020s. It begins with Graf is at school in the small Bavarian town …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/03/18/wir-sind-gefangene-by-oskar-maria-graf/

Please Miss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Penis by Grace E. Lavery

Well, that was certainly… something. In all frankness, it felt very much like reading the screed of a 1980s British academic, who is quite erudite but also monomaniacal about a particular subject, in this case popular culture of primarily English extraction. Whether we’re reinterpreting Dickens through the (honestly valid) lens of pornography or skewering various …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/02/28/please-miss-a-heartbreaking-work-of-staggering-penis-by-grace-e-lavery/

Spílexm: A Weaving Of Recovery, Resilience, And Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell

Hrm, well, if I’d known this was essentially a memoir by a woman in her 40s, I would have probably skipped it (as I do for memoirs by men in their 30s, and for roughly the same reasons.) I feel that the 40s are a bad age for a woman to try to do a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/12/17/spilexm-a-weaving-of-recovery-resilience-and-resurgence-by-nicola-i-campbell/