I think I’ve figured out what type of non-fiction I enjoy.
It’s called a biography memoir. The idea is that it has to be a collection of memoirs of multiple people, and it shouldn’t be an autobiography. I can’t deal with that. It has to be written by someone else.
Not just that, though. I think I prefer feminist biography memoirs.
The latest one I’ve read is The Baby on the Fire Escape by Julie Phillips. I just finished the audiobook last night and will be working tonight through the bookmarks I’ve made. I have the physical copy of the book and I borrowed the audiobook from Seattle Public Library. So I’ll transport the bookmarks to my copy before I relinquish the library loan.
Before this, I read Figuring by Maria Popova. It’s quite a tome and again, I own the physical copy, but it was infinitely easier to work through the public library audiobook instead.
I believe my love for biography memoirs started with Poland by James Michener and solidified over War and Peace. They’re both fiction, but written in a very matter-of-fact, almost-non-fiction style. Then, A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf turned me on to feminist writing. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon turned me away from men writing about women characters. Pynchon’s an idiot.
I know most of the titles I’ve listed above are pure fiction or semi-autobiographical. But I’ve never confessed a love for non-fiction writing. So it’s a big deal for me to recognize that there is some non-fic that’s palatable to me.
In conclusion, while I’ll continue to enjoy fiction all my life, feminist biography memoirs will be what I’ll pick up when I want to read about real people’s lives.