My article has been published! In the January issue of Library Journal starting on page 42, you will find "Memoirs That Will Last." It is an installment in the monthly LJ Collection Development Series. In this four page article, I attempt to identify memoirs that will be of interest to readers for years to come and deserve to be in most public libraries, as well as some school and college libraries. Thanks to the editors' encouragement to expand the original draft of the article, I identify 27 books. At the end of the piece, I also name six movies based on memoirs that libraries will want to offer their clients.
After being asked by Library Journal in July, I had about four months to research, contemplate, and write the article. I scanned Read On … Life Stories by Rosalind Reisner and Life Stories: A Guide to Reading Interests in Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Diaries by Maureen O'Connor to create an initial list of titles to consider and then looked through the SWAN catalog of suburban Chicago libraries. I trimmed the list knowing that not all librarians would fully agree, especially with the 21st century choices. It will be interesting to see if the article gets comments once it is available on the LJ website.
One thing I would change now that I see the article is the subheading "Twenty-First Century Stories." The books were published after 2000, but the stories go back before. I think I may confuse a few readers with that subtitle.
I'd enjoy hearing what memoirs you believe will continue to merit reading for the next couple of decades. Feel free to comment.