We’ve got four true tales to choose from this time, from the grisly (Walter Kirn on his strange friendship with a man revealed as a murderer) to grizzlies (Leigh Newman on growing up in Alaska), from the funny/poignant (Mary Karr on her hardscrabble upbringing) to the funnier/even more poignant (Russian-born Gary Shteyngart on adapting to life in America). Real Simple Deputy Editor Danielle Claro is our April leader. Because of the nature of our jobs, Danielle and I didn't much cross paths for the first few years she was at RS, when she headed the Home department. But since her promotion to deputy editor, she and I have landed in meetings together, and I can tell you that she is quick-witted, opinionated, and whip-smart. I can't wait to see what she brings to our discussion. Read about our four choices below, then vote by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 30. See you!
Blood Will Out, by Walter Kirn
The subtitle tells all: “The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade.” Journalist Kirn on the friend who proved to be a chillingly unknowable stranger.
The Liars’ Club, by Mary Karr
Karr’s influential 1995 memoir of her colorful childhood in a Texas oil town has been described as both “unsentimental and profoundly moving” and “funny, lively, and un-put-downable.”
Little Failure, by Gary Shteyngart
Novelist Shteyngart brilliantly deconstructs the immigrant experience—he arrived in America from Leningrad at the age of 7—in a memoir that is as hilarious as it is bittersweet.
Still Points North, by Leigh Newman
Her parents’ sudden divorce upends the childhood—and emotional life—of Newman, who then must navigate two wildly different worlds: the extreme Alaska of her hunting, fishing pilot father, and the private school and horse country of her mother’s Baltimore.