Tag Archives: memoir

Normal Sucks

Normal Sucks

Henry Holt and Co.
Hardcover
256 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 9781250190161
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How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines

Jonathan Mooney

“As an accessible primer on reassessing disability and mental health, it’s invaluable, and as an exploration of what it’s like to grow up feeling different, it’s incredibly cathartic.”

—Vanity Fair

Growing up, it didn’t take long for Jonathan Mooney to figure out he was considered not normal. He was a neurodiverse kid diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD who didn’t learn to read until he was twelve, and trying to fit into the box of normalcy cost him his education, his sense of self, his friendships—and nearly his life. The realization that he wasn’t broken but the idea of normal was saved Mooney’s life. Framed as a letter to his own sons, Normal Sucks blends memoir, anecdote, and expertise to show us what happens to kids and adults who are trapped in environments that shame them and tell them, in both subtle and heartbreakingly blatant ways, that they are “not normal” and that they are the problem. Diving into the history of the concept, Mooney explores how people in power have used the term normal for centuries to keep diverse and outsider perspectives silent and compassionately investigates the lasting effects of shame, segregation, and oppression. But Mooney also offers hope—and a way forward—arguing that if we can reorient the ways in which we think about diversity and ability, if we can finally admit that “normal sucks,” then we can truly start a revolution. This inspiring book will move and empower us all to embrace and celebrate our differences.

Jonathan Mooney

© Chris Mueller

Jonathan Mooney’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, HBO, NPR, and ABC News, and he continues to speak across the nation about neurological and physical diversity, inspiring those who live with differences and advocating for change. His books include The Short Bus and Learning Outside the Lines.

The Sun Does Shine

The Sun Does Shine

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
272 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250309471
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How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin

Foreword by Bryan Stevenson
Oprah’s Book Club Selection
Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

“No one I have represented has inspired me more than Anthony Ray Hinton and I believe his compelling and unique story will similarly inspire our nation and readers all over the world.”

—Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of    Just Mercy

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence, and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but to find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

Anthony Hinton (c) Cody Love

© Cody Love

Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly thirty years on death row for crimes he did not commit. Released in April 2015, Hinton now speaks widely on prison reform and the power of faith and forgiveness. He lives in Alabama.

The Sun Does Shine has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Metropolitan State University of Denver; St. John’s University (NY); Utah Valley University

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Don’t Label Me

Don't Label Me

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
320 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250182852
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An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times

Irshad Manji

“Profound and nuanced . . . [A] jubilantly intelligent and quintessentially human and optimistic book, one that is fundamentally important in a dangerously polarized and divided time.”

The Toronto Star

In these United States, discord has hit emergency levels. Civility isn’t the reason to repair our caustic chasms. Diversity is. Don’t Label Me shows that America’s founding genius is diversity of thought, which is why social justice activists won’t win by labeling those who disagree with them. At a time when minorities are fast becoming the majority, a truly new America requires a new way to tribe out. Enter Irshad Manji and her dog, Lily. Raised to believe that dogs are evil, Manji overcame her fear of the “other” to adopt Lily. She got more than she bargained for. Defying her labels as an old, blind dog, Lily engages Manji in a taboo-busting conversation about identity, power, and politics. They’re feisty. They’re funny. And in working through their challenges to one another, they reveal how to open the hearts of opponents for the sake of enduring progress. Readers who crave concrete tips will be delighted. Studded with insights from epigenetics and epistemology, layered with the lessons of Bruce Lee, Ben Franklin, and Audre Lorde, punctuated with stories about Manji’s own experiences as a refugee from Africa, a Muslim immigrant to the U.S., and a professor of moral courage, Don’t Label Me makes diversity great again.

“Why do diversity initiatives so often fail or backfire? Because we’ve been doing diversity wrong. Irshad Manji shows us a different way to think about identity; one that is humble, loving, humane, and therefore likely to work for many more people. In a time of rising national polarization and distrust, Don’t Label Me is among the most important books for Americans to read now.”Jonathan Haidt, New York University Stern School of Business, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind 

Irshad Manji

© Rene Clement

Recipient of Oprah Winfrey’s first Chutzpah Award for boldness, Irshad Manji is the founder of Moral Courage College, which teaches people how to do the right thing in the face of fear. She is also the Director for Courage, Curiosity, and Character at Let Grow, a nonprofit promoting independence and resilience in kids. A prize-winning professor, Manji currently lectures with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights. She lives in New York.

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Somewhere in the Unknown World

Somewhere in the Unknown World

Metropolitan Books
Paperback
272 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250296856
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A Collective Refugee Memoir

Kao Kalia Yang

Available in October 2020

Back in the 1980s, Minnesota’s University Avenue was barely clinging to life. Lined with church thrift stores, boarded windows, and prostitutes leaning against streetlights, the sidewalks were thick with bloody, discarded needles. Today, University Avenue is a bustling commercial center, a hub of Halal butchers, Mexican carnicerias, grocery stores selling delicacies to new arrivals from Ethiopia and Bosnia, Iraq and China. A dying strip of America has been revived by the stateless. As the country’s doors are closing and nativism is on the rise, Kao Kalia Yang—herself a refugee from Laos—set out to tell the stories of the refugees to whom University Avenue is now home. Here are people who have summoned the energy and determination to make a new life even as they carry an extraordinary burden of hardship, loss, and emotional damage: Irina, an ex-Soviet, who still hoards magical American fruit—bananas!—under her bed; the Thai brothers of Vinai and their business selling purified water to gullible immigrants; the Kareni boys, who have brought Minnesota to basketball glory. In Yang’s exquisite, poetic, and necessary telling, the voices of refugees from all over the world restore humanity to America’s strangers and redeem its long history of welcome.

Kao Kalia Yang (c) Shee Yang

© Shee Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Song Poet, which received the 2017 Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, and the PEN USA Literary Award. Her book The Latehomecomer also received the Minnesota Book Award. Yang, a regular contributor to NPR’s On Belief, lives in Minneapolis.

Sigh, Gone

Flatiron Books
Hardcover
320 pages • $27.99
ISBN: 9781250194718
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A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In

Phuc Tran

In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Phuc Tran immigrates to America along with his family. By sheer chance they land in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small town where the Trans struggle to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books such as The Metamorphosis, The Scarlet Letter, The Iliad, and more, Tran navigates the push and pull of finding and accepting himself despite the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, teenage rebellion, and assimilation, all while attempting to meet the rigid expectations set by his immigrant parents. Sigh, Gone explores one man’s bewildering experiences of abuse, racism, and tragedy and reveals redemption and connection in books and punk rock. Against the hairspray-and-synthesizer backdrop of the ’80s, he finds solace and kinship in the wisdom of classic literature, and in the subculture of punk rock, he finds affirmation and echoes of his disaffection. In his journey for self-discovery, Tran ultimately finds refuge and inspiration in the art that shapes—and ultimately saves—him.

Phuc Tran (c) Jeff Roberts Imaging jpg

© Jeff Roberts Imaging

Phuc Tran has been a high school Latin teacher for more than twenty years while also simultaneously establishing himself as a highly sought-after tattoo artist in the Northeast. His 2012 TEDx talk “Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive” was featured on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour. He has also been an occasional guest on Maine Public Radio, discussing grammar; the Classics; and Strunk and White’s legacy. He currently tattoos at and owns Tsunami Tattoo in Portland, Maine, where he lives with his family.

My Time Among the Whites

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Picador
Paperback
208 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781250299437
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Notes from an Unfinished Education

Jennine Capó Crucet

“Remarkable . . . My Time Among the Whites is also a thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a first-generation college student, a child of immigrants, and a professor to boot.

Los Angeles Review of Books

In this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born. Raised in Miami and the daughter of Cuban refugees, Crucet examines the political and personal contours of American identity and the physical places where those contours find themselves smashed: be it a rodeo town in Nebraska, a
university campus in upstate New York, or Disney World in Florida. Crucet illuminates how she came to see her exclusion from aspects of the theoretical American Dream, despite her family’s attempts to fit in with white American culture—beginning with their ill-fated plan to name her after the winner of the Miss America pageant. In prose that is both fearless and slyly humorous, My Time Among the Whites examines the sometimes hopeful, sometimes deeply flawed ways in which many Americans have learned to adapt, exist, and—in the face of all signals saying otherwise—perhaps even thrive in a country that never imagined them here.

Jennine Capo Crucet

© Monica McGovern

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of two previous books: the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers and the story collection How to Leave Hialeah. She is currently a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, as well as a previous recipient of the O. Henry Prize, the Picador Fellowship, and the Hillsdale Award for the Short Story, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Raised in Miami, Florida, she is an associate professor in the Department of English and the Institute for Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska.

When They Call You a Terrorist

When They Call You a Terrorist

St. Martin’s Press
Paperback
288 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 9781250306906
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A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele

With a foreword by Angela Davis

When They Call You a Terrorist is more than just a reflection on the American criminal justice system. It’s a call to action for readers to change a culture that allows for violence against people of color.”

Time

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a powerful memoir, part personal history, part equal rights movement. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’s story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Patrisse, along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi—the other leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement—have been regularly called terrorists and a serious threat to America; recently, a petition asked the White House to label the Black Lives Matter movement as a “terrorist group.” But in truth, they are loving, courageous women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors (c) Curtis Moore

© Curtis Moore

asha bandele (c) Michael Hnatov Photography

© Michael Hnatov Photography

Patrisse Khan-Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, California. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, public speaker, and the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize recipient.

asha bandele is the award-winning author of The Prisoner’s Wife and four other works. Honored for her work in journalism and activism, asha is a mother, a former senior editor at Essence, and a senior director at the Drug Policy Alliance.

When They Call You a Terrorist has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

University of Richmond; Northern Illinois University; East Los Angeles College (CA)

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