4:45 PM EDT |3:45 PM CDT |2:45 PM MDT| 1:45 PM PDT
Our wonderful panel of young memoirists—defined as under 40 years old—have blazed a trail with work that runs the gamut from frank discussions of sexuality, stripping and the hunger for travel by Elisabeth Eaves in Bare: the Truth about Stripping and Wanderlust to a memoir about what goes on in recovery centers in the memoir Purged: The Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns. Anna Mitchael’s sense of humor and quirky rants shows us that a memoir can be entertaining as well as educational in Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am.
In writing their memoirs, these women have confronted more than one bias—“aren’t you too young to have a memoir” and the “rules” of privacy and secrecy about bodies, sexuality, desire, Brazilian waxes, and humiliating experiences with physical and emotional illness. In their memoirs, they broke the old rules, and shared their raw truths without apology. Their voices are strong and female, but no one could call them “strident,” the term that the last generation of feminists often had to counter when raising their voices in protest or self-expression, when they burned bras and refused to make coffee. We all have much to learn from the way these women pull away the masks and reveal their inner selves, their bodies, desires, and inner thoughts. They give all of us permission to reach toward our true selves and be totally honest.
Elisabeth Eaves is the author of Bare: The Naked Truth about Stripping and Wanderlust. In both books she reveals many layers of who she is, what she wants, and shows what she will do to satisfy her curiosity and her desire to not be limited by expectations. Her memoirs strip away more than clothes, they burrow deeply into the psyche of a woman who breaks boundaries and takes risks all over the world—inner and outer.
Nicole Johns wrote Purge: The Rehab Diaries to help others understand the complex and challenging journey to healing that those who suffer from eating disorders must take. She exposes the inside of her heart as well as the raw suffering and recovery journey that occurs inside the ward of a rehabilitation center.
Anna Mitchael actually apologizes to her family for how much she reveals in Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am, but her voice and rollicking forays into humorous rants make you want to forgive her for anything. Serious subjects such as marriage, love, family, and relationships are seen through her incisive lens of self-discovery and a willingness to peel away privacy to reveal who she is on many levels.