Quirky autobiography suggestions
February 17, 2005 10:42 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for quirky, contemporary autobiographies such as those written by Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris. (MI)

I really enjoy reading droll, off-beat memoirs such as:

A Girl Named Zippy
Candy and Me
Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight
Kick Me
Devil in the Details
Enslaved by Ducks


Are there any others you can recommend?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy to Writing & Language (25 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Laurie Notaro. You'll thank me later.
posted by sugarfish at 10:44 AM on February 17, 2005


Dave Eggers
posted by Heatwole at 10:53 AM on February 17, 2005


I liked "Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America" by Lily Burana. Punk girl to indie journalist to stripper to ...Montana housewife? Something like that--it's been a while since I read it. Good stuff though.
posted by scratch at 10:55 AM on February 17, 2005


Charles Mingus: Beneath the Underdog.
posted by muckster at 10:57 AM on February 17, 2005


Dirk Benedict's Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy
posted by inksyndicate at 11:01 AM on February 17, 2005


Lost in Place
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:10 AM on February 17, 2005


One from my recent reading list. Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch about being a total and complete football addict. Also maybe try Goa Freaks: My Hippie Years in India by Cleo Odzer and Flaming Iguanas by Erika Lopez and Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson. Only the first one is a true start-to-present autobiography, but the others are quirky and interesting, though perhaps not always droll.
posted by jessamyn at 11:13 AM on February 17, 2005


Second for Beneath the Underdog.
posted by gleuschk at 11:25 AM on February 17, 2005


Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik.
posted by willnot at 11:30 AM on February 17, 2005


Jessamyn: Life Among The Savages is one of my favorite books!

Everyone else: Thanks so much. I promise to give each and every book a chance. In fact, I've already looked her up and my library has all three of Laurie Notaro's books. I can't wait to check them out-- they look very interesting.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:42 AM on February 17, 2005


Sweet! This is like the AskMe thread I didn't think to ask! Thanks SLoG!
posted by graventy at 11:54 AM on February 17, 2005


Dancing Queen by Lisa Carver. Her salute to the Bee Gees is worth the purchase price alone.
posted by melissa may at 11:54 AM on February 17, 2005


A Liar's Autobiography - Graham Chapman
posted by plinth at 11:55 AM on February 17, 2005


Laurie Nataro is hilarious, but if you read all of her books in a row, she might seem a little repetitive.

I thought Mary Karr's The Liar's Club and Cherry were very good. While they are funny, they're not light.
posted by amarynth at 12:15 PM on February 17, 2005


The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio is very light and somewhat cute. On the plus side, it's also quirky.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:42 PM on February 17, 2005


You might like Katy Lederer's Poker Face
posted by box at 12:57 PM on February 17, 2005


Just want to second The Liar's Club especially if you liked Running With Scissors.
posted by mookie at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2005


Ringolevio

Maus
posted by mkultra at 1:46 PM on February 17, 2005


Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks is a very unique memoir. I dug it!
posted by mds35 at 1:59 PM on February 17, 2005


Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje.
posted by languagehat at 2:44 PM on February 17, 2005


Stop-Time. Also (I just finished this) Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.
posted by jmignault at 6:22 PM on February 17, 2005


It's not exactly contemporary, but I feel it fits in quite well with the books you cited. Seriously, if you like this stuff you must read Frederick Exley's A Fan's Notes. It is an underrated classic and the sine qua non of the insightful, humorous, drunken loser autobiographical genre.
posted by Heminator at 8:04 PM on February 17, 2005


I'll give you one to avoid: The Know-It-All, by A.J. Jacobs. It's ponderous and badly-organized, plodding and uninteresting, and will leave you wishing you had your wasted hours back again.

[Note: So bad, I didn't even link to it.]
posted by yellowcandy at 11:03 PM on February 17, 2005


Thank you all for the suggestions (and thank you yellowcandy for the "crap alert.") I anticipate many happy hours of reading. I won't mark any of them as "best answer" because in this case it would be completely subjective.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:45 AM on February 18, 2005


Oh! And Permanent Midnight is a very entertaining and worthy book, mediocre film version not withstanding.
posted by Heminator at 7:46 PM on February 21, 2005


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