15 Powerful Memoirs By and About Mothers
In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we’ve collected fifteen powerful memoirs by, for, and about moms. This collection of books celebrates the diversity of mothers and all of the heartwarming, challenging, and character-building lessons they teach.
When NPR’s Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother’s hospital room in July 2013, he didn’t know that his missives would soon spread well beyond his Twitter followers. These tweets became the foundation of a heart-wrenching memoir about their relationship that is laced with humor and resilience.
7Welcome to My Breakdown
Benilde Little is a bestselling novelist and former magazine editor with a strong marriage and handsome family—but the stress of caring for her aging parents sent her into a downward spiral. WELCOME TO MY BREAKDOWN is her candid, intimate journey through—and beyond—clinical depression.
8Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
A witty and fierce memoir about a life’s work to find happiness, love, identity, home, and a mother. WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU CAN BE NORMAL? is a book full of stories about how a painful past, which Winterson thought she had buried, rose to haunt her later in life when she began searching for her biological mother.
9Lies My Mother Never Told Me
Kaylie Jones tells the poignant story of her relationship with her famous father, author James Jones (FROM HERE TO ETERNITY), and her alcoholic mother, and of her own struggles with the disease. A story of privilege, loss, and self-discovery, this is an unforgettable account of a life defined by literature and alcohol.
10The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
In this warmhearted memoir, Terry Ryan details how her mother made ends meet to support her ten children in the 1950s and ‘60s. By entering—and winning—countless contests with her clever jingles and poetic essay submissions, she took home cash and prizes from Dial soap, Lipton soup, and much more.
13Are You My Mother?
From the bestselling author of FUN HOME, Alison Bechdel tells the story of her mother, a voracious reader, music lover, and passionate amateur actor who was unhappily married to a closeted gay man. This brilliantly told graphic memoir is a thrilling tale of seeking answers to why there was an abrupt divide between this mother and daughter.
ANGELA’S ASHES is Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir about his childhood in the slums of Limerick, Ireland, and his mother, Angela, during the Depression era. Enduring poverty, near-starvation, and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—Frank lived to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.