Tag Archives: memoir

Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson and Larry Sloman



Kindle Edition
Blue Rider Press
11/12/13
A bare-knuckled, tell-all memoir from Mike Tyson, the onetime heavyweight champion of the world—and a legend both in and out of the ring. Philosopher, Broadway headliner, fighter, felon—Mike Tyson has defied stereotypes, expectations, and a lot of conventional wisdom during his three decades in the public eye. Bullied as a boy in the toughest, poorest neighborhood in Brooklyn, Tyson grew up to become one of the most thrilling and ferocious boxers of all time—and the youngest heavyweight champion ever. But his brilliance in the ring was often compromised by reckless behavior. Years of hard partying, violent fights, and criminal proceedings took their toll: by 2003, Tyson had hit rock bottom, a convicted felon, completely broke, the punch line to a thousand bad late-night jokes. Yet he fought his way back; the man who once admitted being addicted “to everything” regained his success, his dignity, and the love of his family.

With a triumphant one-man stage show, his unforgettable performances in the Hangover films, and his new found happiness and stability as a father and husband, Tyson’s story is an inspiring American original. Brutally honest, raw, and often hilarious, Tyson chronicles his tumultuous highs and lows in the same sincere, straightforward manner we have come to expect from this legendary athlete. A singular journey from Brooklyn’s ghettos to worldwide fame to notoriety, and, finally, to a tranquil wisdom, Undisputed Truth is not only a great sports memoir but an autobiography for the ages.

Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

“You have to bear in mind that [Questlove] is one of the smartest mother****ers on the planet. His musical knowledge, for all practical purposes, is limitless.” –Robert Christgau

Mo’ Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone’s Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is many things: virtuoso drummer, producer, arranger, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandleader, DJ, composer, and tireless Tweeter. He is one of our most ubiquitous cultural tastemakers, and in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences–from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way through the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with the Roots, a.k.a., the last hip hop band on Earth. Mo’ Meta Blues also has some (many) random (or not) musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols, and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D’Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to…you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!?

But Mo’ Meta Blues isn’t just a memoir. It’s a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a post-modern black man saddled with some post-modern blues. It’s a book that questions what a book like Mo’ Meta Blues really is. It’s the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.

It’s a rare gift that gives as well as takes.

It’s a record that keeps going around and around.

Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
Grand Central Publishing
June 18, 2013
Hardcover

Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir by Helena Andrews

Meet Helena Andrews, sassy, single, smart, and, yes, a bitch — but Tina Fey said it best, bitch is the new black!

When Helena Andrews heard this declaration on Saturday Night Live, her first reaction was How daaare you? But after a commercial break and some thought, she decided to poke at the stereotype that says “successful” and “bitch” are synonyms. Unafraid and frank, she comes to realize that being a bitch is sometimes the best way to be — except, of course, when it’s not.

Bitch Is the New Black follows Andrews — sexy, single, and a self-described smart-ass — on her trip from kidnapped daughter of a lesbian to Washington, D.C., political reporter who can’t remember a single senator’s name. Told in Andrews’s singular voice, this addictive memoir explores the roller coaster of being educated and single while trying to become an “actual adult” and find love.

In these candid yet heartfelt essays, she chronicles that ride from beginning to end: a childhood spent on an all-white island, escaping via episodes of The Cosby Show; being set up with Obama’s “body guy” Reggie Love by Maureen Dowd; and the shocking suicide of a best friend. Through it all, Andrews and her gang of girlfriends urge each other to “keep it moving.” But no one can stay strong all the time — not even the women we believe do so without trying.

As Andrews says, “Despite the fact that the most recognizable woman in the United States is black, popular culture still hasn’t moved past the only adjective apparently meant to describe us — “strong.” She is also flawed, tired, naive, greedy, gutsy, frightened, and kind: secret sides that come out in honest detail here.

Harper
Available June 1, 2010 in Hardcover

Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism by Belva Davis

Never in My Wildest Dreams is the story of a courageous journalist who helped change the face and focus of television news. Born to a 15-year old Louisiana laundress during the Great Depression and raised in the overcrowded projects of Oakland, California, Belva Davis overcame abuse, racism, and sexism to become the first black female news anchor on the West Coast.

Davis covered many of the most explosive stories of the last half-century, including the birth of the Black Panthers, the Peoples Temple cult that ended in the Jonestown massacre, the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the onset of the AIDS epidemic, and the terrorist attacks that first put Osama bin Laden on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Along the way, she encountered a cavalcade of cultural icons: Malcolm X, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Nancy Reagan, Huey Newton, Muhammad Ali, Alex Haley, Fidel Castro, and others.

Davis’ absorbing memoir traces the trajectory of an extraordinary life in extraordinary times.

Polipoint Press
Available February 1, 2011 in Hardcover