9 Captivating New Autobiographies and Memoirs

Cover image for list, containing three books.

This season, curl up with an eye-opening new narrative.

A great autobiography or memoir speaks to the shared human experience as it captures the magic of a unique life story. Below is a diverse list of new autobiographies and memoirs that will open your eyes to fresh and memorable perspectives this fall.

By Brandon Miller

Her Honor

By LaDoris Hazzard Cordell

As the first Black woman to sit on the Superior Court of Northern California, Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell has a unique outlook on American justice. She’s witnessed its flaws and biases, and yet she believes in the essential value of the system. In her newly released memoir, Judge Cordell invites you into her courtroom for a behind-the-scenes look at America’s legal process, exploring what works and what needs fixing, from juvenile law and jury selection to the intricate ways that judges make sentencing decisions. Cordell draws on real-life cases to craft her wise and provocative account, chronicling a lifetime of experience on the bench while highlighting the steps we can take to make our imperfect system more equitable for all Americans.

Cover of Fox and I by Catherine Raven

Fox & I

By Catherine Raven

Catherine Raven’s celebrated new autobiographical account is a deeply personal meditation on friendship and the extraordinary beauty of our shared natural world. Her narrative chronicles the time she spent living alone in a tiny cottage in Montana and the unlikely friendship she developed with one surprising visitor: a fox. At the time, Raven had just completed her Ph.D. in biology and was leading field classes at nearby Yellowstone National Park while she applied for full-time work. Life at the cottage was emotionally and physically isolating, until a mangy fox began appearing on her property every afternoon. As Raven’s interspecies connection with the fox deepened, so too did her understanding of loneliness and her sense of belonging in the wild world around us.

Beautiful Country

By Qian Julie Wang

In her celebrated coming-of-age memoir, Qian Julie Wang recounts the story of her immigrant family, who emigrated from China and moved to America without documentation. Desperate for work, her former professor parents became sweatshop workers in New York City, while Wang struggled to fit in as a 7-year-old transplant. Wang’s lyrical narrative details how she sought refuge in books, found magic in the streets of Brooklyn, and navigated life as the child of a family whose “illegality” forced them into the shadows.

Unbound

By Tarana Burke

In this powerful new autobiography, Tarana Burke – the activist who founded the Me Too movement – shares her story of struggle, strength, and advocacy. Burke bravely chronicles her life story, documenting the sexual abuse she suffered as a child and the inspiration she found in supporting young Black and brown girls. By empowering others and fostering community, Burke freed herself from the guilt, shame, and isolation she experienced as a survivor of abuse – and rose to become the leader of a worldwide movement.

Cover of There's a hole in my Bucket

There's a Hole in My Bucket

By Royd Tolkien

Royd Tolkien is the great-grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, and his new memoir proves that inspired storytelling runs in the family. Royd’s narrative pays tribute to his brother, Mike, who was diagnosed with ALS and who passed away at an early age. After Mike’s diagnosis, the brothers made it their mission to tick off as much as possible on Mike’s bucket list. After Mike’s death, however, Royd discovered a second list that his brother had left behind: 50 things for Royd to complete on his own. The challenges send Royd on an inspiring new journey, one that pushes him far outside his comfort zone and reminds him to cherish the fleeting beauty of life.

Cover of Bourdain The Definitive Oral Biography

Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography

By Laurie Woolever

Food writer and editor Laurie Woolever offers an unprecedented look into the life of Anthony Bourdain, the beloved chef who passed away in 2018. Woolever was Bourdain’s longtime assistant and confidante. In her new release, she draws on her personal experiences and interviews with Bourdain’s close family and friends to celebrate a life cut short. The food memoir traces Bourdain’s journey from his childhood through his years of success as a globe-trotting gourmand, producing an intimate portrait of the culinary icon.

Cover of Somebody's Daughter

Somebody's Daughter

By Ashley C. Ford

Ashley C. Ford’s bestselling new autobiography is a heart-wrenching account of her experience growing up as the daughter of an incarcerated parent. During her childhood, Ford’s father was in prison – for what, she did not know. Young Ashley and her mother struggled to get by in Indiana. With unflinching prose, Ford chronicles her search for meaning while facing poverty and a racist system, laying bare the hardships and abuse she endured as a young Black girl and her reckoning with the truth about her father’s crimes.

Cover of Manifesto Evaristo

Manifesto

By Bernardine Evaristo

In her celebrated new memoir, Booker Prize–winning author Bernadine Evaristo delivers an impassioned narrative about finding your voice and staying true to your vision. The famed writer, teacher, and activist chronicles her creative journey and her commitment to sharing “untold” stories, alongside examining contemporary social issues of sex, race, class, gender, and age. The result is an inspirational and multifaceted account that urges readers to never give up, no matter the obstacle.

Cover of Real Estate

Real Estate

By Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy’s latest release is the third entry in her Living Autobiography series. In it, she delivers a thoughtful examination of “home” and how it intersects with concepts such as ownership, patriarchy, and belongingness. Drawing on gender theory and philosophy as well as her own personal experiences, Levy crafts a moving meditation on the ways we value and devalue womanhood and women’s lived experiences.

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