Recommended biography & memoir

 Read reviewUncanny Valley: A Memoir

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

Anna Wiener

The prescient, page-turning account of a journey into Silicon Valley. Uncanny Valley is a defining memoir for our digital age.

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Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music

Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music

Archie Roach

A powerful memoir of a true Australian legend: stolen child, musical and lyrical genius, and leader.

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 Read reviewIn the Dream House: A Memoir

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Carmen Maria Machado

A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties.

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 Read reviewJack Charles: Born-again Blakfella

Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella

Jack Charles

Jack Charles has worn many hats throughout his life: actor, cat burglar, musician, heroin addict, activist, even Senior Victorian Australian of the Year. But the title he's most proud to claim is that of Aboriginal Elder.

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 Read reviewUnfollow

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Megan Phelps-Roper

The metamorphic journey of Megan Phelps-Roper: a young woman raised in a religious hate group, who has become an advocate for equality, diversity and tolerance.

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Sontag: Her Life

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Benjamin Moser

The definitive portrait of one of the twentieth century's most towering figures: her writing and her radical thought, her public activism and her private face.

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 Read reviewThe Way Through the Woods: Of Mushrooms and Mourning

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Long Litt Woon

One woman's journey to overcome grief by delving into an overlooked wonder of nature.

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Olive Cotton

Olive Cotton

Helen Ennis

A landmark biography of a singular and important Australian photographer, Olive Cotton, by an award-winning writer - beautifully written and deeply moving.

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 Read reviewYellow Notebook: Diaries Volume One, 1978-1987

Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume One, 1978-1987

Helen Garner

The private diaries of one of Australia's greatest living writers, the much loved, fearless and fierce Helen Garner.

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Letters from Tove

Letters from Tove

Tove Jansson, Boel Westin, Helen Svensson, Sarah Death

A revelation and a gift for all Tove Jansson (and Moomin) fans.

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Childhood

Childhood

Tove Ditlevsen, Tiina Nunnally, Michael Favala Goldman

The astonishing first volume in Ditlevsen's celebrated autobiographical trilogy - a major publication for Penguin Classics in 2019.

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The Ginger Child: On Family, Loss and Adoption

The Ginger Child: On Family, Loss and Adoption

Patrick Flanery (Author)

A raw and heart-wrenching literary memoir about a queer couple's attempt to adopt a child.

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 Read reviewYear of the Monkey

Year of the Monkey

Patti Smith

From the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids and M Train, a profound, beautifully realized memoir in which dreams and reality are vividly woven into a tapestry of one transformative year.

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Mama's Boy: A Memoir

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Dustin Lance Black

A candid, vivid, powerfully resonant memoir about growing up Mormon in Texas from an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and leading spokesperson for LGBTQ rights.

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Rudolf Nureyev: The Life

Rudolf Nureyev: The Life

Julie Kavanagh

Born on a train in Stalin's Russia, Rudolf Nureyev was ballet's pop icon. Nureyev's achievements and conquests became legendary: he rose out of Tatar peasant poverty to become the Kirov's thrilling maverick star; slept with his...

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The Chronology of Water

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Lidia Yuknavitch

A journey of addiction, grief and the healing power of art - the highly acclaimed memoir from the author of The Book of Joan

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The Bells of Old Tokyo

The Bells of Old Tokyo

Anna Sherman

A hauntingly original book about Tokyo and the Japanese relationship to time, memory and history, seen through the eyes of an outsider, searching for the past that underlies the city's arrestingly visible present.

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Split: True Stories of Leaving, Loss and New Beginnings

Split: True Stories of Leaving, Loss and New Beginnings

Lee Kofman

In this compelling anthology of personal essays, curated by award-winning author Lee Kofman, some of Australia's most beloved writers reveal, for the first time, powerful, occasionally funny and often heartbreaking stories of...

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Alice to Prague

Alice to Prague

Tanya Heaslip

A bittersweet story of a search for identity, belonging and love, set in a time, a place and with a man that fill Tanya's life with contradictions.

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 Read reviewThe Trauma Cleaner

The Trauma Cleaner

Sarah Krasnostein

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife...

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How Death Becomes Life

How Death Becomes Life

Joshua Mezrich

A beautifully written and compelling memoir of a largely unexplored area of medicine: transplant surgery.

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Becoming

Becoming

Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

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 Special price Read reviewBreaking Badly

Breaking Badly

Georgie Dent

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 Read reviewStaying: A Memoir

Staying: A Memoir

Jessie Cole

A searing memoir by acclaimed novelist Jessie Cole, about surviving the suicide of loved ones, and finding a place to heal.

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 Read reviewMiss Ex-Yugoslavia

Miss Ex-Yugoslavia

Sofija Stefanovic

Unpolished Gem with a touch of Stasiland: a funny, dark and tender memoir about growing up between the lunacy of Yugoslavia's civil war and suburban Australia.

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 Read reviewAlways Another Country

Always Another Country

Sisonke Msimang

A moving portrait of the life journey and all the romance, heartache and grief that has helped to make Sisonke Msimang the writer, activist, mother and woman she is today.

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 Read reviewEducated

Educated

Tara Westover

An extraordinary memoir about a woman's discovery of education, its transformative power and the price she has to pay for it.

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 Read reviewEggshell Skull

Eggshell Skull

Bri Lee

A fiercely intelligent, heartbreakingly honest memoir and feminist call to arms in the tradition of Fight Like A Girl

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One Hundred Years of Dirt

One Hundred Years of Dirt

Rick Morton

Social mobility is not a train you get to board after you've scraped together enough for the ticket. You have to build the whole bloody engine, with nothing but a spoon and hand-me-down psychological distress.

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 Read reviewTracker

Tracker

Alexis Wright

Miles Franklin-winning author Alexis Wright has crafted a memoir in story form of the charismatic Indigenous leader Tracker Tilmouth, and an epic portrait of a important period in the political life of Australia, reminiscent in...

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 Read reviewThe Hate Race

The Hate Race

Maxine Beneba Clarke

'Maxine Beneba Clarke is a powerful and fearless storyteller...Clarke is the read deal, and will, if we're lucky, be an essential voice in world literature for years to come' - Dave Eggers, international bestselling author

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Heavy: An American Memoir

Heavy: An American Memoir

Kiese Laymon

In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the...

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The Argonauts

The Argonauts

Maggie Nelson

An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of 'autotheory' offering fresh, fierce and timely...

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I've Been Meaning to Tell You

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

David Chariandy

In the tradition of Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me, acclaimed novelist David Chariandy's latest is an intimate and profoundly beautiful meditation on the politics of race today

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A Life of My Own

A Life of My Own

Claire Tomalin

A memoir that follows Claire Tomalin through triumph and tragedy in about equal measure, from the disastrous marriage of her parents and the often difficult wartime childhood that followed, to her own marriage to the brilliant...

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The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

Judith Brett

Alfred Deakin-scholar, spiritualist, prime minister-was instrumental in creating modern Australia. In the first biography of Deakin in more than half a century, the acclaimed political historian Judith Brett deftly weaves together...

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Just Kids

Just Kids

Patti Smith

Winner of the 2010 Non-Fiction National Book Award Patti Smith's evocative, honest and moving coming-of-age story of her extraordinary relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe

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Priestdaddy: A Memoir

Priestdaddy: A Memoir

Patricia Lockwood

The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed 'The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas' by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished,  nuclear waste-riddled area of...

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Holding the Man

Holding the Man

Timothy Conigrave

At an all-boys school in Melbourne, Timothy Conigrave falls wildly and sweetly in love with the captain of the football team. So begins a relationship that weathers disapproval, separation and, ultimately, death. This book...

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 Read reviewWhen Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling...

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Kitchen Confidential: Insider's Edition

Kitchen Confidential: Insider’s Edition

Anthony Bourdain

The bestselling author of Don't Eat Before You Read This expands his appetizer into a deliciously funny, delightfully shocking banquet that lays out his 25 years of sex, drugs, and haute cuisine.

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My Place

My Place

Sally Morgan

Traces the experiences of Sally Morgan's life, growing up in Perth in the 50s & 60s. Through the memories and images of her childhood and adolescence, vague hints and echoes begin to emerge and a fascinating story unfolds - a...

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

William Finnegan

A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writer

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Naked

Naked

David Sedaris

A riotous collection of memoirs which explores the absurd hilarity of modern life and creates a wickedly incisive portrait of an all-too-familiar world.

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A Mother's Story

A Mother’s Story

Rosie Batty, Bryce Corbett

An updated edition of the profoundly moving and inspiring memoir from Australia's domestic violence crusader, Rosie Batty. Rosie Batty knows pain no woman should have to suffer. Her son was killed by his father in a violent...

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The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls

Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents. At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings...

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Dreams from my Father

Dreams from my Father

Barack Obama

In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns...

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