This recurring class explores contemporary memoirs by writers from diverse social backgrounds. Although the course typically avoids “celebrity memoirs,” two deserving new books merit an exception to the rule: Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Sally Field’s In Pieces. The third selection is Alexander Chee’s acclaimed collection of literary essays, How to Write an Autobiographical Memoir. Analyzing both the achievements and the limitations of the memoir genre, the class will discuss how authors map the emotional landscape of private life while addressing broader themes in social history, politics, and culture. Please read Becoming by Michelle Obama before the first class session.