Archives de catégorie : Memoir

VOYAGERS de Lauren Fuge

Journeying through remote landscapes across the Earth and beyond, VOYAGERS seeks to understand how human exploration has driven us into the Anthropocene.

Our Journey into the Anthropocene
by Lauren Fuge
Text Publishing (Australia), August 2024

At night, as I stargazed from my tiny tent, I’d hear the primal whalesong roll up along the ocean floor and onto the beach where I lay. The ethereal melodies seeped through my shivering skin, like a relic of an ancient time. I felt as if I was eavesdropping across millennia, the sound stirring some faint genetic memory deep inside me.
Come home.
Since the beginning of human history, we have been wanderers. Modern humans left Africa by 150,000 years ago, heading first to Asia and Europe, then Australia, the Americas, and finally—in an incredible feat of innovation and imagination—across the Pacific. Our explorations yielded great rewards: land and resources, food and knowledge. In every landscape we have explored, we have become a force of change. Humans are the dominant influence on the environment. And our surging population and insatiable industrial metabolism are outgunning the planet’s own forces: the sea is sucking at our doorsteps; the forests fall too quickly for us to hear. Still, we seek new seas to fish, new oil deposits to drill, new land to develop. A compelling blend of natural history, science and memoir, journeying from the dramatic fjords of British Columbia to the ancient geology of outback Australia to the shifting coastlines of Norway, VOYAGERS asks: What drives our urge to explore? How has it influenced our relationship with the planet? And, in the face of imminent environmental collapse, can we find in our voyaging history the tools to reimagine our future?

Lauren Fuge is an award-winning science writer. She has been a science journalist for Cosmos magazine and was awarded the 2022 UNSW Bragg Prize for Science Writing; her writing features regularly in the Best Australian Science Writing anthology. She is undertaking a PhD exploring creative forms of climate communication.

HARD BODY de Robert James Russell

A graphic narrative of body dysmorphia; a memoir of obsession, shame, and what it means to face the physical space you take up in the world.

A Personal History of the Self on Display
by Robert James Russell
Simon & Schuster, 2024
(via The Lark Group)

In the vein of graphic memoirs from Meichi Ng, Alison Bechdel, and Adrian Tomine, HARD BODY by Robert James Russell is a graphic narrative – a blend of comics, memoir, and history – about the author’s experience of male body dysmorphia. From personal stories about how the author’s body has been a commodity for others – while modeling or working at the cult-like Abercrombie & Fitch or teaching – to examining the history and current climate of “get fit” culture, the rise of personal fitness in the early 20th Century (Muscular Christianity, anyone?), and our collective obsession with our appearance throughout history, HARD BODY is a memoir of obsession, shame, and what it means to face the physical space you take up in the world.

Robert James Russell is a wellpublished, former creative writing professor who has taught national workshops for fiction, nonfiction, and graphic narratives across the country. He is the founder of two national literary brands (Midwestern Gothic and CHEAP POP).


Award-winning Yellowstone photographer and documentary filmmaker Brad Orsted’s seven-year search for refuge and redemption in America’s greatest wilderness.

My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
by Brad Orsted
St. Martin’s Press, June 2023
(via The Rights Factory)

When Brad Orsted’s fifteen-month-old daughter, Marley, died mysteriously at the home of Brad’s mother, he descended into madness. Blaming himself, he plunged into an abyss of grief, guilt, and self-recrimination, fueled by prescription drugs and alcohol. He planned his suicide as his wife, Stacey, searched for a new beginning. She finally found a job in Yellowstone National Park and, with their daughters, Mazzy and Chloe, the pair fled Michigan, looking for refuge and redemption in the 2.2 million acres of glorious American wilderness.
THROUGH THE WILDERNESS begins in Yellowstone, five months after the family’s arrival in 2012, when, in an alcoholic haze, Brad stumbled into a field of sage and survived a face-to-face encounter with an adult male grizzly bear. For the first time in almost two years, he realized he wanted to live―he just didn’t know how.
Desperate for help, Brad invited himself to a Crow sweat lodge ceremony, where an elder told him it was time to stop grieving. The elder’s words started Brad on a journey towards sobriety and inner peace, only possible because of lessons he learned in the wild, his new job as a wildlife photographer and filmmaker, and two orphan grizzly cubs who carried him back home and taught him how to live again.
Brad’s ten-year odyssey is about finding the wild inside the human heart. It is a journey of the spirit― a journey to forgiveness and sobriety, to love and life, to memory, and ultimately, to Marley.

Brad Orsted’s instinct for storytelling started early when someone gave him a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera as a child. Decades later Brad’s passion for wildlife cinematography and photography would not only earn him work with top networks like: Nat Geo Wild, The BBC, PBS, Nature, and The Smithsonian Channel, but also become part of his recovery after the tragic death of his daughter, Marley. Brad now resides in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he is hard at work on his second book and his wilderness therapy programs also called, Through the Wilderness. Brad’s film with Jeff Bridges and Doug Peacock, “The Beast of Our Time” recently won Best Environmental Film Award at the prestigious L.A. Doc Film Festival. A second film is in the making.

THE CAVE d’Amani Ballour

Written in the tradition of I Am Malala and based on the Oscar-nominated documentary The Cave, this searing memoir tells the inspiring story of a young doctor and activist who ran an underground hospital in Damascus, illuminating and humanizing the enduring crisis in Syria.

A Woman’s Story of Survival in Syria
by Amani Ballour
National Geographic, March 2024
(via Kaplan/DeFiore Rights)

Simply put, there is no one in Syria with a story like Dr. Amani Ballour. The only woman to have ever run a wartime hospital, she saved her peers from the atrocities of war while contending with the patriarchal conservatism around her.
Growing up in Assad’s Syria, Dr. Ballour knew she wanted to be more than a housewife, even as her siblings were married off in their teens. As the revolution unfolded, she volunteered at a local clinic and was immediately thrown into the deep end of emergency medicine. Here, she found her voice and the courage to continue.
Among the facets of this powerful tale: Becoming a hospital director. Shielding children from a horrific sarin attack. Losing colleagues. Starvation during the hospital siege. Attempting to employ more women in the hospital and challenging the patriarchy. Abandoning the hospital. Becoming a refugee. Living with trauma. Moving forward.
Amani Ballour is a role model and a game changer who, like Malala Yousafzai, will be remembered as one of history’s great heroines. She is an incredibly brave, passionately committed young humanitarian who, though deeply wounded by her experiences, is not content to quietly deal with her own trauma. Instead, Ballour is determined to seek justice and to do her utmost to ensure that others will not have to face the horrors that she survived.

Amani Ballour graduated from the University of Damascus in 2012. She began her pediatrics specialization before abandoning her studies to help the people of her hometown, under attack from the Assad regime, in an underground medical facility known as The Cave. In 2018, as Assad’s forces closed in, Ballour was forcibly displaced to northern Syria before settling in the United States with her husband in 2021. She is the recipient of the Council of Europe’s prestigious Raoul Wallenberg Prize. She lives in Patterson, New Jersey.
Rania Abouzeid is a multi-award-winning Lebanese-Australian journalist who has reported from across the Middle East for some two decades. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Time magazine, National Geographic, and other outlets. She lives in Beirut, Lebanon.


Part coming-of-age story, part psychological thriller, part philosophical investigation, this unforgettable memoir traces the ramifications of a series of lies that threaten to derail the author’s life—exploring the line between truth and deception, fact and fiction, and reality and conspiracy.

A Memoir in Two Stories
by Sarah Viren
Scribner, June 2023
(via Frances Goldin Literary)

Sarah’s story begins as she’s researching what she believes will be a book about her high school philosophy teacher, a charismatic instructor who taught her and her classmates to question everything—in the end, even the reality of historical atrocities. As she digs into the effects of his teachings, her life takes a turn into the fantastical when her wife, Marta, is notified that she’s been investigated for sexual misconduct at the university where they both teach.
Based in part on a viral
New York Times essay, TO NAME THE BIGGER LIE follows the investigation as it upends Sarah’s understanding of truth. She knows the claims made against Marta must be lies, and as she uncovers the identity of the person behind them and then tries, with increasing desperation, to prove their innocence, she’s drawn back into the questions that her teacher inspired all those years ago: about the nature of truth, the value of skepticism, and the stakes we all have in getting the story right.
A compelling, incisive journey into honesty and betrayal, this memoir explores the powerful pull of dangerous conspiracy theories and the pliability of personal narratives in a world dominated by hoaxes and fakes. TO NAME THE BIGGER LIE reads like the best of psychological thrillers—made all the more riveting because it’s true.

« A thrilling, labyrinthine and ultimately illuminating reckoning with what it feels like to be caught up in a vortex of post-truth, conspiracy, and lies, Sarah Viren’s To Name the Bigger Lie is a fascinating and deeply disturbing account of our contemporary age of weaponized falsehoods… This is a memoir, yes, but it’s also a view into a terrifying aspect of modernity, and Viren’s ability to unspool complicated tangles for the reader is unparalleled. » —Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body

Sarah Viren is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of Mine. Sarah’s creative work has been supported by an NEA Fellowship and a Kerouac House Writing Residency, and her writing appears in the New York Times Magazine, Oxford American, Texas Monthly, and elsewhere. An assistant professor of creative nonfiction at ASU, she is a graduate of the Nonfiction Writing MFA at the University of Iowa.