Dewaine Farria

Betsy Robinson

“I’m sorry, but I don’t feel strongly enough about your mother’s book to do a blurb for it,” writes my author friend.

Ariell Cacciola

This article is part of The Mantle's series Against Censorship.


An Iranian Metamorphosis 
by Mana Neyestani
Translated from the Persian by Ghazal Mosadeq
Uncivilized Books (2014), 208 pp

Laura Leigh Abby

In her first memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Caitlin Doughty uses her own experience to examine why Americans oppose conversations about death. While the book may not help you figure out how to talk to your loved ones about death, the author will surely get you get you thinking about it. Laura Leigh Abby has this review.

M.C. Armstrong

The writer M.C. Armstrong was embedded with U.S. soldiers in Iraq when a military contractor divulged a secret about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Questions arose: Was he credible? Did U.S. authorities know about the buried armaments? Would the public even care? And what's a writer to do with the juicy information?

Soniah Kamal

Perhaps surprisingly, Qanta Ahmed’s religious and familial background does not adequately prepare her for a two-year stint as a doctor in Saudi Arabia. Thus, Ahmed’s memoir is less a fish-out-of-water story, and more like a fish-in-unfamiliar-water tale. Soniah Kamal reviews Ahmed’s mystified encounters of classicism, colorism, and sexism in The Kingdom.

Katherine Chen

Behind every great man is a great woman, so the saying goes. Katherine Chen delves into J.M. Coetzee's memoir, Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life, to find the phrase also extends to elusive Nobel Prize winning authors.

Katherine Chen

Those looking for insights into Michael Ondaatje’s storied life may be let down by Running in the Family. Katherine Chen proclaims the memoir reads “consistently like a family heirloom of several less-than-consequential stories which only Ondaatje and his living relatives could possibly care about.”