by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson
University of Minnesota Press, 2024
Cloth: 978-1-5179-1687-9 | Paper: 978-1-5179-1688-6 | eISBN: 978-1-4529-7201-5
Library of Congress Classification CT25.S595 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 808.06692


A user-friendly guide to reading, writing, and theorizing autobiographical texts and practices for students, scholars, and practitioners of life narrative

The boom in autobiographical narratives continues apace. It now encompasses a global spectrum of texts and practices in such media as graphic memoir, auto-photography, performance and plastic arts, film and video, and online platforms. Reading Autobiography Now offers both a critical engagement with life narrative in historical perspective and a theoretical framework for interpreting texts and practices in this wide-ranging field. Hailed upon its initial publication as “the Whole Earth Catalog of autobiography studies,” this essential book has been updated, reorganized, and expanded in scope to serve as an accessible and contemporary guide for scholars, students, and practitioners.


Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson explore definitions of life narrative, probe issues of subjectivity, and outline salient features of autobiographical acts and practices. In this updated edition, they address emergent topics such as autotheory, autofiction, and autoethnography; expand the discussions of identity, relationality, and agency; and introduce new material on autobiographical archives and the profusion of “I”s in contemporary works. Smith and Watson also provide a helpful toolkit of strategies for reading life narrative and an extensive glossary of mini-essays analyzing key theoretical concepts and dozens of autobiographical genres.


An indispensable exploration of this expansive, transnational, multimedia field,  Reading Autobiography Now meticulously unpacks the heterogeneous modes of life narratives through which people tell their stories, from traditional memoirs and trauma narratives to collaborative life narrative and autobiographical comics.

See other books on: Autobiography | Reference | Smith, Sidonie | Third Edition | Watson, Julia
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