8 Remarkable Memoirs By Spectacular Women

There are some memoirs by women that have told amazing stories about the hurdles they have faced in life. Read on to learn about some of these memoirs.

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Book covers of "Educated," "Hunger," and "Fun Home" on a gold and green sparkly background.

Most of us choose the books that we read because we are hoping for an entertaining story that will keep our eyes glued to the pages. While that can be achieved through reading novels, some of the entertainment can come from the added bonus of the book being true. That is why the memoir genre can be so thrilling. Memoirs give real accounts of personal stories that can seem too wild to be true. Nevertheless, they are very much true.

In addition, there are a lot of memoirs written by women that tell fascinating stories of the obstacles they faced in life. These are the stories that make you just want to give an author a hug after all they have been through. The women that write those memoirs have powered their way through and are now able to tell their story. These are some female-written memoirs with fascinating tales.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy was one of the biggest stars on Nickelodeon in the early 2010s. As the wacky sidekick Sam on iCarly, millions of children found her to be so cool and fun. However, when the cameras went off, the sinister parts of McCurdy’s life came out. Now, people can learn the truth of her life from her memoir I’m Glad My Mom is Dead. The memoir details the problems that McCurdy had as a child star, specifically about the abusive relationship she had with her mother.

Book cover of "I'm Glad My Mom Died" with Jennette McCurdy holding a pink urn smiling in a pink rectangle with a yellow background.

Her mother was a pushy stage mom that took total control of McCurdy’s life and led to her eating disorders. McCurdy also explains what it was like to work on a Nickelodeon show and how it was not all fun and games like people may imagine. McCurdy is revealing her truth with this memoir and allowing former fans, and curious readers, to see what she had to survive in order to be entertaining and successful.

Educated by Tara Westover

Education can be one of the greatest privileges in a person’s life. I use the word “privilege” because it is not always a guarantee in a person’s life. Sometimes, people have to put extra work into their life to even get a chance at a formal education. That was the case for Tara Westover, who details this experience in her memoir Educated. Westover grew up in an isolated Mormon community, where she was homeschooled with spotty lessons. She did not interact with many people outside of her family and dealt with a lot of troubles at home.

Book cover of "educated" with a big pencil that looks like a mountain up close with a person standing on that mountain.

Eventually, she was able to escape this life to get a formal education, including a PhD at Cambridge. However, her past is never far behind as she often gets caught by her former world of abuse and control. Westover has been through a lot of danger, both mental and physical, and the fact that she got to a point where she could write this book is inspirational in and of itself.

My Love Story by Tina Turner

There was a time where Tina Turner’s fame was unavoidable. Her singing voice was unmatched and her concerts would sell out in an instant. However, while that may seem like the dream, there were dark moments underneath that glamor. Turner’s story has been told many times, both in the written word on screen. My Love Story gives the account of her life in her own words, no creative liberties taken.

Book cover of "My Love Story" with Tina Turner smiling.

She talks about the wonderful moments in her life, but she also digs deep into the awful parts. There were times in her life where she felt total depression due to life’s experiences. Nevertheless, she always picked herself back up and worked through every problem. Her memoir talks about what that was like and how she was able to stand tall.

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur

Most of the time, parent’s try to keep their personal lives away from their children. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Adrienne Brodeur. In fact, she knew a little too much about her mother’s life and was responsible for keeping some parts of that life a secret. Those details are not a secret anymore in Brodeur’s memoir Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me. Brodeur’s mother was having an affair with her husband’s, Brodeur’s father’s, closest friends. Her mother confided in her about this when she was just a child, and that led to Brodeur being an important piece to the puzzle of keeping this adultery a secret.

Book cover of "Wild Game: My Mother, Her Secret, and Me" with a picture of the beach and a sliver of a woman's face on the side.

At first, Brodeur liked the closeness between her and her mother that came from this situation. However, later on the secret led to some problems for the whole family, and those problems followed Brodeur into adulthood. It also led to some complicated feelings that Brodeur has toward her family. This memoir allows her to let all of those feelings out and confront how this secret shaped her life.

Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career by Kristi Coulter

Over the past couple of decades, Amazon has grown into one of the biggest online companies, with millions of shoppers everyday choosing millions of products. While the company may look all shiny and exciting, that is not what they look like behind the scenes. Kristi Coulter explains what it was like to work for the company in her memoir Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career. Coulter joined Amazon as it was just beginning, when it just looked like a promising start-up.

Book cover of "Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career" with a box full of various items with a frowning Amazon face on a bright pink background.

She experienced the boom of the company first-hand. At first, Coulter does have the excitement in her job. However, as the years go on, she experiences extreme burnout, stress, and a loss of enjoyment in life. Nevertheless, Coulter had this job for twelve years and allowed her soul to be sucked away. Eventually, she realized enough was enough and she left. Her memoir shows how draining the corporate world can be and why she is grateful to finally get out of that world. Coulter can finally find enjoyment in her personal life without that job.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Society often looks down on people who are overweight, especially women who are overweight. However, those people are often just seeing what is happening on the surface level; they do not know the backgrounds of the lives they are looking down upon. Roxane Gay reveals her truth of being an overweight woman in her memoir Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The memoir talks about the trauma that Gay experienced when she was younger, which served as cause for some of her weight gain.

Book cover of "Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body" with the prongs of a fork on a white background.

She also talks about what it is like for people to dislike you for simply existing, as overweight women are not what the general public usually wants to see. Gay has been through a lot in her life and she wants to talk about all of those experiences. In many situations, Gay has used her voice to make people aware about various problems people are facing in society. In this memoir, Gay reveals what she has faced and worked on overcoming.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots By Deborah Feldman

Until she was an adult, Deborah Feldman had no freedom in her life. She was told what to wear, what to read, who to talk to, etc. That was what life was like in her ultra-religious Hasidic Jewish community. Feldman wanted to get out of there. Eventually, she did, which is what led to her writing Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. The book details what Feldman’s home life was like growing up and how restricted she felt.

Book cover of "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots" with a woman's hair flowing on a beige background.

She could barely make any choices for herself. As she got older, she started self-educating herself before she was finally able to run away. Her book is meant to educate people on what some of these communities can be like and how it feels to lack a true voice. Her bravery is admirable, and this book demonstrates the strength of her perseverance.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

While many people have expectations for what a memoir should look like, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic ignores those expectations in the best possible ways. Instead of a typical written out memoir, this book is a graphic memoir, meaning it is structured with drawings and speech bubbles, like a graphic novel. This memoir is written by Alison Bechdel, an influential cartoonist.

Book cover of "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" with a cartoon black and white family portrait on a bluish-green background.

This graphic memoir tells the story of Bechdel struggling to accept her sexuality when she was young and her father hiding his own sexuality secrets. The book also discusses mental health struggles and what it is like to grow up in a dysfunctional family life. Bechdel went through a lot in her youth and it took a toll on her mental health. This unique memoir shows how Bechdel powered through and how she learned to accept who she is and process where she came from.

All of these memoirs tell vastly unique stories. Even so, they all have one thing in common. They all are about courageous women that faced difficulties in their lives, but were still able to come out on the other side. They wrote these books so that people can understand what they went through and so they can get all of their emotions out on paper. It is likely not easy for these women to relive their pasts to write these memoirs, but they managed to accomplish that goal, which led to the riveting narratives we have today.

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