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Blog Posts by Subject: Memoirs and Diaries

Women in Print: A Reading List from Open Book Night

At our March Open Book Night readers recommended a wide variety of books by favorite women authors, from contemporary fiction to older favorites, even questioning the authorship of a great classic of Western literature. Read More ›

In Praise of Female Rock Memoirs

Several great female memoirs have been published since Patti Smith's phenomenally successful Just Kids. Here's to the rise of the female rock memoir.Read More ›

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary, March 31, 1800

The story of a a sensational murder in early-nineteenth-century New York, told through a young woman's diary.Read More ›

Recently Digitized Early American Manuscript Collections, March 2016

Recently digitized collections of early American manuscripts.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: C.L.R. James to Constance Webb

Today’s episode features a love letter from Trinidadian social theorist, historian and political activist C.L.R. James (1901-1989) to his wife and confidant the actress, model, writer and activist Constance Webb (1918-2005). Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Nathan Woodard to Alice Childress

A love letter from musician and composer Nathan Woodard to his wife and creative collaborator Alice Childress.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Aaron Douglas to Alta Sawyer Douglas

Today’s episode features a memorable love note from leading Harlem Renaissance painter, illustrator, and graphic artist Aaron Douglas to his wife and life partner Alta Sawyer Douglas, an esteemed educator and Harlemite. Read More ›

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary, February 8, 1800

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker lived through a tumultuous period in the history of labor in New York City. Here is a page from her diary, 216 years ago today.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Arturo Schomburg to Langston Hughes

Today’s letter features correspondence between Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Langston Hughes. In the excerpt below, Schomburg speaks with Hughes regarding acquisitions for The Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints—the forerunner to today’s Schomburg Center.Read More ›

Download Your Next Nonfiction Read: Author @ the Library in "E"

Are you looking for a good nonfiction read to download? Every month the Mid-Manhattan Library presents a series of Author @ the Library lectures featuring recent nonfiction books on a wide range of subjects, and many of these titles are available to borrow as e-books. Read More ›

Podcast #88: Mary-Louise Parker on Relationships, Motherhood, and Religion

Mary-Louise Parker is an actress best known for her role on the television show Weeds, for which she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress is 2006. With her new memoir Dear Mr. You, she adds author to her list of accomplishments.Read More ›

Booktalking "Becoming Maria" by Sonia Manzano

The real life story of one of the stars of Sesame Street.Read More ›

Ask the Author: Sloane Crosley

Sloane Crosley comes to Books at Noon this week to discuss her latest book, The Clasp.Read More ›

Podcast #82: Patti Smith on Authors She Loves

Patti Smith, musical icon and National Book Award winner, hero to aesthetes and rebels, is an NYPL favorite. This week, in celebration of her new book M Train, the New York Public Library is proud to present Patti Smith discussing the authors she loves.Read More ›

New York: A Reading List from Open Book Night

A wide variety of titles, including memoirs, essays, classic and contemporary fiction, history, and poetry connected to New York. Read More ›

Reader's Den: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, Part 2

Discussion questions for A Walk in the Woods.Read More ›

Booktalking "Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness" by Michelle Knight

Michelle Knight was abducted in 2002 and lived hidden in her captor's house for a decade. The journals she kept chronicle her love for her son and the abuses she suffered.Read More ›

Fifty Shades of Hemingway

Perhaps as much has been written about Hemingway as was written by him.Read More ›

August in the Reader's Den: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, Part 1

Welcome back to the Reader’s Den! This August we’re making a virtual escape from the hot and steamy New York summer with Bill Bryson’s classic travelogue, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, originally published in 1996.Read More ›

Podcast #71: Vivian Gornick on Voice in Memoir

Vivian Gornick is one of the most prolific writers in American letters, with eleven books published since 1973. Most recently she's published a memoir The Odd Woman in the City detailing her life as a woman of intelligent discontent. In this week's episode of the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Vivian Gornick discussing voice, adherence to fact, and lucid sentences.Read More ›
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