Jennifer Lawrence will play photojournalist Lynsey Addario (left) in the movie version of Addario’s memoir, It’s What I do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. The film will be directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Warner Bros. 

If you missed our recent interview with Addario, check it out here:

Twice Kidnapped, Photographer Returns To War Zone: ‘It’s What I Do’


Y’all really think I’m playing when I say my future wife will have NOTHING to worry about. She will have the smoothest pregnancy of all and my future kids will have a strong foundation.

Welcome to the world Marcel, I love you so much and I’ll always be there for you to guide you babyboy! Such a warm feeling holding you on your birthday. I love you more than words can say.
Your auntie, Gee.

See you again tonight!

“He has always been the kid who cries too easily and laughs too easily, the kid who begins giggling in church for no reason at all, who blinks hotly in shame and frustration whenever he misses a question in class, living in an otherland of sparkling daydreams and imaginary catastrophes.”
― Kevin Brockmeier, A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade

At age twelve, Kevin Brockmeier is ready to become a different person: not the boy he has always been, but someone else altogether.

Over the course of one school year—seventh grade—he sets out in search of himself. Along the way, he happens into his first kiss at a church party, struggles to understand why his old friends tease him at the lunch table, becomes the talk of the entire school thanks to his Halloween costume, and booby-traps his lunch to deter a thief.

With the same deep feeling and oddly dreamlike precision that are the hallmarks of his fiction, the acclaimed novelist now explores the dream of his own past and recovers the person he used to be.


Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In ‘My Father, The Pornographer’

Chris Offutt  is the author of a forthcoming memoir called My Father, The Pornographer, which was excerpted in early February in the New York Times Magazine.  Chris Offutt is known for his fiction and literary memoirs.  His father was known by his 17 pen names, under which he wrote nearly 375 porn books. He also wrote two science fiction and 24 fantasy novels.  His first porn book was published in 1968, and in 1970 he shut down his small insurance agency, thinking porn would be more profitable. The timing was right, with the sexual revolution expanding the market.  His readers probably wouldn’t have guessed that he wrote from his home in Kentucky, in what Chris Offutt describes as “a hill and holler community—a zip code with a creek.” While Chris was growing up there, the source of his father’s income was a family secret.  In 2013, when Chris was 54, his father died and left Chris with the  inheritance of thousands of letters and tens of thousands of novel pages. Chris moved back to his childhood home for several months, to sort the papers and assemble a bibliography.  

Photo by William Mebane for The New York Times 

This is not a sad love song.

In January, I went back to New York for one of my best friend’s weddings. 

I hadn’t been to the city since this summer, when Aaron and I traipsed around Brooklyn and Long Island for five beautiful days in June.

I sensed him with me on every step of this trip, but never more than when I stepped into the offices of HarperCollins and sat down with a team there to talk about our story.

My agent (WHAT. YES, I JUST TYPED THAT FOR REAL) and I were fifteen minutes late, which to both of our Midwestern selves is basically like not even showing up, but we did show up, and to the best of my knowledge nobody noticed how sweaty I was or could see my heart beating through my coat.

It is hard to act casual when what you are talking about is basically just the story of your life, so I didn’t act casual. I acted like a total weirdo, I said the f-word a few too many times. At one point I was sure that Julia Cheiffetz, a very lovely and sophisticated woman with the humble title of Executive Editor, could see that under all the layers of J.Crew I was wearing, I was basically just Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, and this book was my pretty new pet…

Are you ready to write this? someone asked (not sure who, I kind of blacked out?), and I answered truthfully: 

I will never be more ready. 

To write our story is the greatest gift that I can give to Aaron, the only way I know to repay a man who changed my life so completely and indelibly. The only time to do it is now, with all of the viscera and molten hot grief. Nothing else would be as true.

When I got back to my hotel room that afternoon, I cried as hard as I could. For beautiful Aaron, and the story we lived together. For my wonderful, literary father who never got to sit at the table like that. For my own wounded heart that wanted so, so badly to make the two of them proud.

And I will.

In Spring 2016 (don’t hold me to dates, people, I’m an artist), our memoir will be a real, honest-to-goodness book published by Dey Street at HarperCollins. If you haven’t heard of Dey Street, they recently took a chance on a lady named Amy Poehler who I think will be doing some pretty big things, check out her book if you get the chance. If you haven’t heard of HarperCollins please contact me directly because I am very interested in meeting an alien life form. 

We’re calling it This Is Not A Sad Love Song, because you know as well as anyone: this isn’t a cancer story or a sob story, this is a love story. This is a life story. 

And this, this right here, is a thank you. For reading my blog. For sharing it with your friends. For writing me the best emails and Tumblr messages and Facebook messages and Tweets. For being good humans who care about other humans, for being bright twinkling lights in the very darkest moments a person can experience. For caring, goddammit.

Thank you so damn much, I promise to make you proud.



Before he made it big in Holloywood, actor, writer and comedian Patton Oswalt was a junkie — addicted to movies, as he explains in a new memoir, Silver Screen Fiend.

The word addiction gets thrown around a lot, but Oswalt tells NPR’s Arun Rath that his relationship to movies was downright pathological.

"If you’re looking at the definition of addiction, it controls your schedule, it controls your life, it affects your relationships, it affects your job, it affects your career," Oswalt says. "My compulsion to go see every single movie that I possibly could operated exactly the way that an addiction does."

One year in the 1990s, he saw over 250 films just in theaters — plus more on videotape and on Turner Classic Movies. “It was really biting hours and days out of my life,” he says.

Our own Linda Holmes has this to say about Silver Screen Fiend:

Perhaps it’s surprising that one of the best things about Silver Screen Fiend is that Oswalt doesn’t always seem very likable in it. The easiest way to enjoy a memoir, at times, is when it makes a famous person seem like an awesome best friend you’d love to have. Patton Oswalt, on the other hand, in his own stories, can seem not just prickly, but full of explanations of things he’s learned to rise above: hack comedy by people who are successful but untalented, inferior art, boring people, uncool venues (“giggle-shack” is his most devastating putdown). The book is not an argument for his personable nature, as books by famous people often are. 

You can find Oswalt’s interview with Arun Rath here, and Linda’s essay here.

— Petra

   [The late 80s were] such a dark time for me. When I was living in the Mayflower, I was two steps off of that balcony. I would go to the studio and make my record, and then sit in my dark room and drink vodka (which I didn’t even like). The moon would shine into the room past the balcony, through the window, and onto the floor. And I’d sit on my chair and talk to the moon. I would toast her and tell her I was named Cynthia, after the goddess of the moon. Then I’d just cry while gazing up at her. I didn’t call anyone; I was so upset I couldn’t even talk. I would see my family occasionally but I had to spend most of my time making my record. I was alone. But wanted to be alone. I was grieving. I thought the sadness would never go away. I must say the only thing that always prevented me from suicide is that I never wanted a headline to read, GIRL WHO WANTED TO HAVE FUN JUST DIDN’T.

Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir, 2012

In my time, I have known quite a few of the worlds and the worlds within worlds of which New York City is made up, such as the world of the newspapers, the world of the criminal courts, the world of the museums, the world of the racetracks, the world of the tugboat fleets, the world of the old bookstores, the world of the old left-behind churches down in the financial district, the world of the old Irish saloons, the world of the old Staten Island oyster ports, the world of the party-boat piers at Sheepshead Bay, and the worlds of the city’s two great botanical gardens, the Botanical one in the Bronx and the Botanic one in Brooklyn. As a reporter and as a curiosity seeker and as an architecture buff and as a Sunday walker and later on as a member of committees in a variety of Save-this and Save-that and Friends-of-this and Friends-of-that organizations and eventually as one of the commissioners on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, I have known some of these worlds from the inside. Even so, I have never really felt altogether at home in any of them. And I have always felt at home in the Fulton Fish Market.
—  An excerpt from the third chapter of an unfinished memoir by Joseph Mitchell.
After 27 years of marriage, things had fallen apart. The couple everyone believed was golden and normal and eternally intact, who gave younger musicians hope they could outlast a crazy rock’n’roll world, was now just another cliche of relationship failure — a male midlife crisis, another woman, a double life.

In Girl In A Band, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon writes about the end of her marriage tobandmate Thurston Moore. She tells NPR’s Arun Rath, “People change. People can’t help who they fall in love with, no matter who it is. And it’s not that I’m not sad about it, but I feel like, in a way, maybe I was stuck in my life. And it’s kind of freed me up to do other things.”

Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon On Marriage, Music And Moving On

Anna Lyndsey — a pseudonym — was once an enviably ordinary woman. She had a good career working for the British government, a loving partner, and most importantly, she could walk outside, under the sun, whenever she wanted to. But then she developed a rare disorder: even the faintest light causes an agonizing burning sensation in her skin, making her a virtual prisoner in darkened rooms and smothering clothes.

Lyndsey’s new memoir, Girl in the Dark, is a gorgeously written, occasionally snarky chronicle of her illness and the ways she’s coped with it — listening to endless audiobooks about the world outside (and a few military thrillers), devising games to play in the dark, and searching endlessly for a remedy that would help her tolerate even twilight. Check out our exclusive First Read here.

— Petra