Memoir Cover


A History

By Ben Yagoda

Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594484827, 304pp.

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

From Augustine's "Confessions" to Augusten Burroughs's "Running with Scissors," from Julius Caesar to Ulysses S. Grant, from Mark Twain to David Sedaris, the art of memoir has had a fascinating life, and deserves its own biography. "As Yagoda says: 'Memoir has become the central form of the culture: not only the way stories are told, but the way arguments are put forth, products and properties marketed, ideas floated, acts justified, reputations constructed or salvaged. How did we come to this pass? The only way to answer that question is to go back a couple of thousand years and tell the story from the beginning, '" which is just what Yagoda does in this "excellent" history ("The Washington Post").

About the Author
Ben Yagoda is a journalism professor at the University of Delaware. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of ten books, including "Memoir: A History," "Will Rogers: A Biography," and "When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It," and has written for "Slate," "The New York Times Magazine," and publications that start with every letter of the alphabet except J, K, Q, X, and Z. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife.