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Memoirs: Home - On the Shelves

A guide to memoirs held in our collections, reading guidance, and history of the genre.

What is Memoir?

A memoir is an author's telling of their own story, based on their memory. Memoir differs from autobiography in that it is not the author's life story told as documented fact, rather, it is a story from a life, usually around a specific time, place, set of experiences, or relationship from the author's past. Read more about memoir and the history of the literary form here:

Casteneda, Kay, MA. “Memoir.” Salem Press Encyclopedia of Literature, Jan. 2022. EBSCOhost,

This guide will help you find memoirs in our library collections. They are loosely organized by theme to help you find a memoir that interests you. You can also do a search in Destiny Discover to find more.

Memoirs in Carnegie Library

"Childhood/Families" is a very broad theme for these stories detailing the authors' family/home situations, childhood settings, and circumstances of their upbringing and formative years. Some are about escaping and others about returning. Some families in these stories are loving, caring, and supportive, some are disastrously dysfunctional, and some are in between. These stories are centered around events and experiences from the authors' childhoods, some of which are hard to read about.

Memoirs in the Nallo Center