5 New Memoirs And Biographies To Read This Fall

Great stories about someone else's life to read when you need to escape your own.

Covers of the five books mentioned in the post

This fall’s slate of fantastic new releases includes a number of bios and memoirs, the better to sink into the details of someone else’s life as a brief escape from your own.

Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years by Michael Posner

The is the first in a new trilogy of oral histories about the legendary artist. Posner masterfully weaves the story of the iconic musician’s life through hundreds of interviews with the people who knew him best, including family members, business partners and lovers alike. (October 6)

What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action by Jane Fonda

Like most of us, Fonda felt immobilizing despair about climate change. Like some of us, she did something about it, organizing rallies in Washington with environmental activists and fellow film stars. It’s both a memoir and an instruction manual for facing the climate emergency. (September 8)

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig

“Do we lose something when we worship independence and villainize dependence?” Taussig’s memoir exploring disabled life is full of incisive questions about what might happen if we centred bodies and their messy needs. Then, it offers a generous cornucopia of possibilities. (Out now)

Black Water: Family, Legacy and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson

Best known as a kidlit writer, Robertson turns deftly to memoir in this tribute to his late Cree father. Raised with little connection to his Indigenous community, Robertson travels as an adult with his dad to the trapline where his father grew up, and the result is a beautiful story of family and cultural ties remade anew. (September 22)

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh

A short pleasure of a book that threads the history of feminism and country music through the lives of Parton and the working-class women of the author’s family. Will fascinate Parton fans and bring in a generous scoop of new ones. (October 13)