6 Must-Read Memoirs by Female Authors

Her: A Memoir Christa Parravani

Anyone who has a sister knows that the relationship between two sisters can be very chaotic. Sisters can be rivals and, at the same time, best friends. In Her, Christa Parravani explores an extremely complicated sister relationship, between her and her identical twin sister. The sisters are extremely close, yet very distant. Cara suffers from depression and drug abuse, and dies tragically at 28 years old. In the memoir, Christa describes her struggle to survive after the loss of her soulmate, her sister. Describing both her past and present, Her is an emotional journey that resonates with readers.

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland made history when she became the first ever African-American woman named a Principal Dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. After years of being told she started ballet too late in life, she didn't look like a lead dancer, her skin was too dark, her body was too curvy, Misty’s dreams came true. In her memoir, Misty describes her journey from a family living in poverty to one of the most successful and well known ballet dancers in the country.

Bossypants Tina Fey

As one of the most beloved comedians, one can expect Tina Fey’s memoir to be just as funny as she is. Describing her childhood through a series of comedic and more serious anecdotes, Tina illustrates her journey to fame. Called Bossypants because Tina’s strong will has often led to her butting heads with men in the entertainment industry, this memoir is not short on laughs. As a blurb on the back of the book says, Bossypants is “totally worth it!”

I Am Malala Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Many remember when 15 year old, activist, Malala Yousafzai was nearly murdered by a Taliban member on her way to school. Despite the severity of her injury, she recovered and continues to fight for the right of education for young girls. Now 20 years old, Malala is an outspoken young women and the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate in history. For someone so young, she is incredibly brave and wise, and anyone can learn something from her words. Her memoir shares the inspiring, empowering, and emotional story of a young woman who will not stop fighting for what she believes in, even if her life is threatened.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail Cheryl Strayed

Many might recognize this story, as it was made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Wild is the tale of an emotional and spiritual journey that the author Cheryl Strayed went on when she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail on her own. After her mother died of cancer, Cheryl struggled with heroin addiction and suffered through abusive relationships. Looking to change her life, she sets out on a quest for self that lasts 3 months. Completely inexperienced, Cheryl hiked with only the supplies she could carry on her back and a stack of books.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Alison Bechdel

Now a successful Broadway musical, Fun Home has made a splash in pop culture. Comic artist Alison Bechdel is the creator of the Bechdel test, a benchmark for films to be more inclusive of women. Fun Home focuses on her relationship with her dad, mainly while she was in college. While she was proclaiming her lesbianism, her father was struggling to hide his attraction to men. Summarized best with the quote, “Dad, I had no idea that my beginning would be your end,” from the musical, Fun Home will make you laugh until you cry. And for fans of Fun Home, readers can also check out Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, which focuses on the dynamic between Allison and her mother after her father’s death.

Sophomore at Augustana College. Biochemistry Major. Proud Feminist. First Time Writer for Her Campus

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