Best Memoirs and Biographies for Generation X (60s, 80s, 90s)
We collected the best memoirs, autobiographies and biographies from the early '60s to late '90s.
The following list is also available on Goodreads.
Trailer Trash: an '80s Memoir, by Angie Cavallari
Trailer-park owners never use the word “trailer” and certainly not the term “trailer park.” At some point in time, even the Mobile Home Park Owners Association (MHPOA for short) realized that the word “trailer” had a negative connotation. When was the last time you saw a “trailer park community” advertised on TV? “Trailer park” has come to represent, in the minds of most Americans, men in stained work shirts dotted with drippings of food fat and car excrement returning home to take out life’s shortcomings on the innocents in their lives—the ol’ lady, the dog, and the coffee table. This image—which, I can tell you, is a partially true cliche in our society—vaguely explains why my parents and my grandparents decided to rent to tenants without children or pets. Well, birds and rodents were deemed acceptable but not guinea pigs. Guinea pigs, due to size and temperament, were completely unacceptable. My name is Angie Cavallari, and this is my story about growing up as an ’80s child in the shitty, impoverished, modern-age ghettos known as trailer parks.
The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South, by Jo Ivester
In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his young family from a suburb of Boston to a small town in the heart of the Mississippi cotton fields, where he became the medical director of a clinic that served the poor population for miles around. But ultimately it was not Ivester’s father but her mother—a stay-at-home mother of four who became a high school English teacher when the family moved to the South—who made the most enduring mark on the town.
Flashbacks: an unreliable memoir of the 60s, by Morgan Smith
A collection of memories about growing up hippie in Toronto, during one of the most interesting periods of the 20th century. Not to mention the sex, drugs and rock and roll…
Morgan Smith was only twelve during the Summer of Love, but her parents had plunged headlong into the Age of Aquarius, and she was no mere bystander. From paisley shirts to protest rallies and from Be-Ins to hash brownies, she lived through one of the most ground-breaking and outright joyous periods of the 20th century as a participant, and through her memories, she shares what it was like to watch the world change.
Picnic at the Iron Curtain, by Susan Viets
Welcome to the world of collapsing Communism. It is the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall when people are still willing to risk all to cross the Iron Curtain to the West. In this adventure-packed memoir Susan Viets, a student turned journalist, arrives in Communist Hungary in 1988 and begins reporting for the Guardian, not at all prepared for what lies ahead. She helps East Germans escape to the West at a picnic, moves to the Soviet Union where she battles authorities for accreditation as the first foreign journalist in Ukraine and then watches, amazed, as the entire political system collapses.
The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager!, by Tom Harvey
The decade of the 1980s has been called the Decade of Decadence. Decadence is defined as “the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay” or my favorite, “unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence.” For a decade that brought us Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids, leg-warmers and New Wave, was it really self-indulgence?! For one kid growing up in the Central Valley of California, it was a time of self-discovery . . .