Memoir & Essay

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Home in the Hinterland

Home in the Hinterland

The following is a feature article from the new intern issue of the Los Angeles Review of Books: The Magazine. The issue, which our interns produced as part of this past summer's LARB Publishing Cour...

Unearthing the Fossils of Shame

Unearthing the Fossils of Shame

“CHILDHOOD WAS TERRIFYING for me,” said Mary Karr in an interview in The Paris Review. “A kid has no control. You’re three feet tall, flat broke, unemployed, and illiterate. Terror snaps you a...

The Navel-Gazer’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Navel-Gazer’s Guide to the Galaxy

WHAT CONSTITUTES self-involvement, exactly? If I told you an entertaining story about the existential dread that befell me as my parents moved from one run-down desert town to another, would you consi...

Chasing the Origins of Gonzo in South America

Chasing the Origins of Gonzo in South America

IN COLLEGE Brian Kevin read Hunter S. Thompson’s The Proud Highway, a collection of the gonzo’s letters from the 1950s and 1960s, including 18 from the year he spent traveling through South Americ...

Speaking of Memory: Nabokov’s Folded Fabric

Speaking of Memory: Nabokov’s Folded Fabric

EARLY IN THE PAGES of his memoir, Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov confesses that he is a “chronophobic,” that he in fact not only fears but also doesn’t “believe in time,” that he is less im...

Working the Beat on S Street

Working the Beat on S Street

THE DAY BEFORE I finished reading Ruben Castaneda’s memoir I left my office at Howard University and walked to the neighborhood he described in his book. It took me about 15 minutes. I walked down...

The Art of the Essay

The Art of the Essay

WHAT MAKES a personal essay work, an essay that is partly about the writer and partly about something or someone else? This genre has a long, rich history, and Icon, edited by Amy Scholder and publish...

All in the Family

All in the Family

IN 1968 RICHARD BLANCO’S parents decided to emigrate from Castro’s Cuba. They arrived first in Madrid, where Blanco was born in a hospital run by Catholic nuns. A few weeks later, the family was a...

The Lost and the Found

The Lost and the Found

IN THE FIRST chapter of Will Boast’s haunting memoir, Epilogue, we learn about his father’s death on a Wisconsin interstate from a ruptured ulcer that most likely had been killing him for days. D...

The Blighted Beauty of America’s Sport

The Blighted Beauty of America’s Sport

MY FIRST JOB out of college, I covered high school football for what was then a mid-sized newspaper in Northeast Ohio. This was in the mid-1990s, before the death spiral of printed media, back when ne...

Besotted: Writers and Their Dogs

Besotted: Writers and Their Dogs

Q: […] But why did you roll in the carcass of that dead seal when we took you to the beach at Morro Bay? A: To transfer ghost-cloak of invisibility, silly. Death smell lends protection. Winner of r...

Geoff at Sea

Geoff at Sea

WHILE READING Geoff Dyer’s latest unmissable blend of new journalism, memoir, and rumination, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t actually getting anywhere, and therefore neither was I....