I recently learned about Biographile, the Penguin Random House website dedicated to biography, memoir, and truth in fiction. It looks like a great site to read about new and distinguished authors, inspiration, and the craft of writing. Currently, the site is in the midst of That Summer, a month-long series celebrating the magic of summer. Every day in July, Biographile will share original essays from more than 50 renowned authors from Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, and others, who share personal tales of that memorable summer.
Calling all writers: Biographile, in partnership with Paste Magazine, is running a writing contest for you to share your summer story. The winner will have their story published on Paste and Biographile plus become the new owners of a curated collection of books. Hurry, though because submissions are due on July 23rd.
Now back to the stories about authors’ memorable summers. Their stories explore themes such as love and sex, rites of passage, and personal growth, while spanning generations, from the freewheeling ’70s to the digital aughts. Authors include:
- Jojo Moyes, author of One Plus One, remembers a teenage summer in her colorful London neighborhood and the freedom associated with learning to drive.
- Thomas Cahill, author of Heretics and Heroes, recalls moving to Ireland with his wife, and their adventures involving superstitious country folk and Irish moonshine.
- Margaret Atwood, author of the forthcoming Stone Mattress, remembers her fascination with stromatolites (fossil-like pillows of stone), which she encounters during a boating trip through the North West Passage. It turns out, that trip was fodder for a new short story…
- Lisa See, author of China Dolls, recalls a summer of driving and sex under the stars during the ’70s when she lived at home as a teen without parental supervision.
- Saroo Brierley, author of A Long Way Home, shares his emotional journey to India in hopes of finding his birth village and family with the aid of Google Earth after a 25-year separation.
- Amanda Vaill, author of Hotel Florida, recalls a breakthrough in her writing while conducting research at the New York Public Library during her first job as an assistant for the New Yorker.
Biographile has plenty of great stories to feed your reader this weekend. Come back each for a new story will be like unwrapping a birthday present everyday for a month.
What are you reading this weekend?