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Memoirs of Miserable Childhoods

These authors vie for most compelling miserable memoir.

Auslander, Shalom
Foreskin's Lament
PS3601.U85 Z46 2007
Auslander's humorous, angry memoir explores his Orthodox Judaic childhood and the feeling that God is out to get him.
Bridge, Andrew
Hope's Boy
HV883.C2 B75 2008x
This New York Times inspirational bestseller illuminates the horrors of the foster care system.
Burroughs, Augusten
A Wolf at the Table
PS3552.U745 Z48 2008
All Burroughs ever wanted was for his father to notice him and give him some attention.
Flynn, Laura
Swallow the Ocean
RC464.F69 A3 2008
An intimate portrait of a daughter's determination to survive her beloved mother's mental illness.
Flynn, Nick
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
PS3556.L894 Z464 2004
A young man meets his alcoholic father in a homeless shelter, and writes boldly of his attempt to forge a relationship with him.
Gorokhova, Elena
A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir
DK543.G67 A3 2010x
Poet laureate Billy Collins calls this a Russian Angela's Ashes.
Holloway, Monica
Driving with Dead People
CT275.H6443 A3 2007
Her father was obsessed with filming deadly car wrecks. When she had a kidney infection, her mother refused to pay for treatment. Both parents repeatedly told her she was a mistake. And then repressed memories of sexual abuse begin to surface.
Ng˜ug˜i wa Thiong'o
Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir
PR9381.9.N45 Z469 2010
World-renowned Kenyan novelist, playwright, critic, and author of Wizard of the Crow writes about his childhood during the Mau Mau conflict and Kenya's bloody struggle for independence from the British.
Pelzer, Richard B.
A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse
HV883.C2 P43 2005
This author is the brother of the man who wrote A Child Called It. After his older brother was removed from their home, Richard was the sole outlet for his mother's drunken abuse. His father, teachers and other adults in the community knew the situation, but did not intervene.
Walls, Jeannette
The Glass Castle
HV5132.W35 2005
Walls should win a prize for "Most Unique, Enchanting, Miserable Childhood."

Updated: 2/11/2011