4 Family Memoirs for Thanksgiving Weekend

Of course we love our families. Of course. We’re sure that you’re thankful for their ongoing love and support too. Nevertheless, Thanksgiving can bring out both the best and the worst in family dynamics. If you need to take a quick break from Uncle Joe’s off-color jokes or from the incessant bickering between Cousin Sarah and her husband, crack open a good book. Here are four family memoirs you can turn to for some much-needed comfort:

Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods–My Mother’s, My Father’s, and Mine


Noelle Howey recounts her complicated relationship with her father, who came out as a male-to-female transexual while the writer was in high school. The book is an incredibly funny exploration of sexual identity and womanhood in contemporary America.

The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir


Described as lyrical and gritty, Domingo Martinez details the trials and tribulations he suffered while growing up in a border town with an alcoholic father and a neglectful mother. His family also comprises a rattlesnake-killing grandma, and a pair of sisters who try to pass for upper-class WASPs.

The Memory Palace: A Memoir

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Mira Bartók’s childhood was marked by her unpredictable, schizophrenic mother. After a traumatic brain injury, Bartók re-connects with her dying mother. A tale of loss and forgiveness, the memoir won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.

After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story


Chicago-born author Michael Hainey uses his skills as a journalist to answer the question that’s haunted him his whole life: What happened the night his father died? In addition to uncovering family secrets, Hainey also takes readers on a journey through the golden newspaper era in Chicago.

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