Rye Author Lucia Greenhouse's Top Five Memoirs

The Rye author on her five favorite memoirs



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Author of the acclaimed memoir fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science, Rye resident Lucia Greenhouse says she enjoys works by both extraordinary and ordinary folks. But the memoirs of everyday people thrown into unusual circumstances, she says, “give the reader either inspiration—as in ‘If he got through that, I can get through this’—or gratitude/relief—as in ‘OMG, my family is actually relatively normal!’” Here, some of her favorites.



1) Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Nelson Mandela)
Though, opines Greenhouse, the former president of South Africa might have aptly added “Very, Very…” to his title, she says that readers should not be deterred by the thought of the 27 years Mandela spent as a political prisoner. Greenhouse calls this account of his journey from humble beginnings to the presidency “at once charming and daring, iconic, and fully human.”

2) Bossypants (Tina Fey)
About this bestselling memoir, Greenhouse says simply, “LOLUICAMSH!” (Don’t read text? That’s: “Laughed out loud until I cried and my stomach hurt.”) Male readers beware, she adds: “Some of the humor will be hilariously lost on those sporting testicles.”

3) Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir (Frank McCourt)
Greenhouse says this moving account of “growing up against all odds in abject Irish poverty” is one of her favorite memoirs. “McCourt didn’t publish Angela’s Ashes until he was in his sixties, which gave me excuses—and inspiration—for my own writing.”

4) In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing (Lee and Bob Woodruff)
“Extraordinary and inspiring” is how Greenhouse describes this his-and-her account of fellow Rye resident Bob Woodruff’s recovery from a potentially fatal IED explosion in Iraq as ABC’s World News Tonight’s newly anointed co-anchor. “That Bob is alive and well is truly a miracle,” she says.

5) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)
This story of  Dave Eggers raising his much younger brother after both their parents die within a year of each other is, says Greenhouse, “hilarious, ballsy, irreverent, brilliant, and, yes, heartbreaking.” 


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