In celebration of the recent release of Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind Of Girl, and impending release of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, we have compiled a pre-requisite reading list of of some of the best memoirs, diaries and autobiographies written by women. Learn about sex, puberty, childhood, motherhood, friendship and life through the eyes of these intelligent, witty, insightful women.
In Bossypants, Fey takes aim at her detractors (always with humor) and gives you an intimate look at the hurdles she conquered on her way to becoming one of the most successful comedians in recent years. We love you Tina!
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
Joan Didion has long been a well-respected author and essayist (I recommend everyone read her piece on Self Respect). But in The Year of Magical Thinking Joan describes her grief after the loss of her husband. Prepare for a few tears but this book of love, death and mourning is far more inspirational than depressing.
How To Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran
Moran is a British radio broadcaster and columnist. Her autobiography is utterly hilarious, full of awkward anecdotes of puberty and early romance. However, among her humorous tales is one of the most honest descriptions of a life-changing childbirth that is equally movie and horrifying.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
Maya’s poetic autobiography follows the early years of her life, when she and her brother – abandoned by their parents – are sent to live with their grandmother. Maya’s early life is filled with traumatic experiences and vicious racism. Her ability to overcome life’s setbacks resulted in one of the most enduring and important literary commentaries on life as a black woman in America.
The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
Anne Frank’s diaries are the most popular published diaries in history. They cover the two years Anne – a young Jewish girl – spent hiding from Nazis in a small house in Amsterdam. It’s interesting to follow the usual coming-of-age processes of a pre-teen girl, despite the unusual circumstances of her existence, and the horror occurring in the world at the time.