This class explores contemporary memoirs by writers from diverse social backgrounds. How do authors translate lived experiences of childhood and family life, immigration, war, personal trauma, work and professional life, parenthood, and politics into compelling literary works? How do they chronicle the creation of complex identities shaped by race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and geography? Analyzing both the achievements and the limitations of the memoir genre, we will discuss how authors map the emotional landscape of private life while addressing broader themes in history, politics, and culture. This class features four very recent books, including a beautifully rendered graphic memoir.) Come share your ideas with other passionate readers in a stimulating yet relaxed environment. Reading list: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie, Real American by Julie Lythcott-Haims, and Hunger by Roxane Gay.