nonfiction from Hawthorne Books

This book shimmers like a California dream.

Claire Dederer
Author of Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning

The first time Natalie Singer learns about California, she’s nine, tucked between library stacks, a Canadian blizzard outside. In a book called All About California, she reads of mythological griffins, rupturing earthquakes, furnace deserts, and Hollywood stars, and an imprinting takes place....

Cover of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

Frank Meeink
Jody M. Roy

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

  • Introduction by Elizabeth Wurtzel
  • nonfiction / memoir

Frank Meeink’s book is a candid and captivating story of upbeat transformation of a raw racist into a courageous citizen which has much to teach all of us. Don’t miss it!

Cornel West

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead is Frank Meeink’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate triumph over hatred and addiction.

Frank’s violent childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate. He made easy prey for a small group of skinhead gang...

Cover of True Portland

Teruo Kurosaki

True Portland

  • nonfiction / travel

True Portland is more than a travel guide, it’s a curated experience.

True Portland: The Unofficial Guide for Creative People is more than a travel guide, it’s a curated experience that captures the essence of what makes Portland different from other cities. In addition to the essential information about where to eat, sleep, shop, run, create, listen, and think,...

Jenny Forrester has hit the mother lode.

Lidia Yuknavitch
Author of The Chronology of Water

On the Colorado Plateau between slot canyons and rattlesnakes, Jenny Forrester grew up with her mother and brother in a single-wide trailer proudly displaying an American flag. Forrester’s powerfully eloquent story reveals a rural small town comprising God-fearing Republicans, ranchers, Mormons,...

This book is so goddamn good, you’ll plotz.

Lidia Yuknavitch
Author of The Chronology of Water

Bestselling memoirist and psychotherapist Kerry Cohen (Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity) explores complicated female friendships in Girl Trouble. Beginning with her relationship with her sister Tyler Cohen, who illustrates the memoir, Kerry examines the many ways female friendships can affect a...

Cover of The Inventors

Peter Selgin

The Inventors

  • Introduction by Lidia Yuknavitch
  • nonfiction / memoir

Peter Selgin is a born writer, capable of taking any subject and exploring it from a new angle, with wit, grace, and erudition.

Oliver Sacks

In the Fall of 1970, at the start of eighth grade, Peter Selgin fell in love with the young teacher who’d arrived from Oxford wearing Frye boots, with long blond hair, and a passion for his students that was as intense as it was rebellious. The son of an emotionally remote inventor, Peter was...

Cover of Violation

Sallie Tisdale

Violation

  • nonfiction / essays

Violation contains important work from an important writer. I’m so glad it’s out in the world.

Meghan Daum
The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

Sallie Tisdale is the author of seven books on such varied subjects as medical technology, her pioneer ancestors, and Buddhist women teachers. Her many essays have appeared in Harper’s, Conjunctions, The New Yorker, Antioch Review, Threepenny Review, and many other journals. This first collection...

Cover of White Matter

Janet Sternburg

White Matter

  • nonfiction / memoir

This is a unique book. The writing is beautiful, the observations refined, the subject gripping.

Antonio Damasio
Descartes’ Error and Self Comes to Mind

White Matter: A Memoir of Family and Medicine is the story of a close-knit working-class Bostonian Jewish family of five sisters and one brother and the impact they and their next generation endured due to the popularization of lobotomy during the twentieth century. When Janet Sternburg’s...

Life Is Short—Art Is Shorter is not just the first anthology to gather both mini-essays and short-short stories. Readers, writers, and teachers will get an anthology; a course’s worth of writing exercises; a rally for compression, concision, and velocity in an increasingly digital,...

Indispensable.

Ashley Gartland
The Oregonian

For residents and visitors alike, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland is a road map to finding the best of the best in America’s favorite do-it-yourself foodie Mecca. Navigate Portland’s edible bounty with this all-access pass to hundreds of producers, purveyors, distillers, bakers, food carts, and...

Cover of The End of Eve

Ariel Gore

The End of Eve

  • nonfiction / memoir

How Ariel puts human tenderness on the page is an act of poetry damn close to sublime.

Tom Spanbauer
Author of In The City of Shy Hunters

At age 39, Ariel Gore has everything she’s always wanted: a successful writing career, a long-term partnership, a beautiful if tiny home, a daughter in college and a son in preschool. But life’s happy endings don’t always last. If it’s not one thing, after all, it’s your mother.

Knock knock.

Her...

Cover of Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere

Poe Ballantine

Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere

  • Introduction by Cheryl Strayed
  • nonfiction / memoir

This is his best book ever.

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

For well over 20 years, Poe Ballantine traveled America, taking odd jobs, living in small rooms, and trying to make a living as a writer. At age 46, he finally settled with his Mexican immigrant wife in Chadron, Nebraska, where they had a son who was red-flagged as autistic. Poe published four...

Cover of Wedlocked

Jay Ponteri

Wedlocked

  • nonfiction / memoir

Essayistic, narrative, and meditative by turns, Ponteri’s is a beautiful and truly courageous voice.

Jenny Boully
Author of The Book of Beginnings and Endings

​Married writer Jay Ponteri finds himself infatuated with a woman other than his wife and writes a manuscript to explore his feelings. Discovery of this manuscript understandably strains his marriage. Wedlocked offers readers an intimate, idiosyncratic view of a human institution that can so...

Cover of Holding Silvan

Monica Wesolowska

Holding Silvan

  • Introduction by Erica Jong
  • nonfiction / memoir

A tender, poignant and courageous narrative – insightful and beautifully written.

Abraham Verghese
Author of Cutting for Stone

​In the opening of Holding Silvan, Monica Wesolowska gives birth to her first child, a healthy-seeming boy who is taken from her arms for “observation” when he won’t stop crying. Within days, Monica and her husband have been given the grimmest of prognoses for Silvan. They must make a...

Nadelson chronicles his life in progress with the wry, warm honesty of an old friend catching up.

Meghan Daum
author of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House

​Beginning in the summer of 2004, Scott Nadelson’s life fell apart. His fiancée left him a month before their planned wedding. He moved into a drafty attic. His car’s brakes went out. He learned that his cat was dying. Over the next two years, he’d struggle, with equivocal and sometimes...

Cover of Stories for Boys

Gregory Martin

Stories for Boys

  • nonfiction / memoir

Moving, brave, and unforgettable, this deeply personal book pushes us all further into the light.

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

​In this memoir of fathers and sons, Gregory Martin struggles to reconcile the father he thought he knew with a man who has just survived a suicide attempt, a man who had been having anonymous affairs with men throughout his thirty-nine years of marriage, and who now must begin his life as a gay...

Cover of The Chronology of Water

Lidia Yuknavitch

The Chronology of Water

  • Introduction by Chelsea Cain
  • nonfiction / memoir

This is the book I’ve been waiting to read all of my life.

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

This is not your mother’s memoir. Lifelong swimmer and Olympic hopeful Lidia Yuknavitch accepts a college swimming scholarship in Texas in order to escape an abusive father and an alcoholic, suicidal mother. After losing her scholarship to drugs and alcohol, Lidia moves to Eugene and enrolls in...

Name five books and/or authors we all need to read? Poe Ballantine’s exquisitely funky 501 Minutes to Christ.

Tom Robbins
Author of Jitterbug Perfume

​Poe Ballantine’s second collection of personal essays follows in the tradition of Things I Like About America. Stories range from “The Irving,” which details Mr. Ballantine’s diabolical plan to punch John Irving in the nose after opening for him before an audience of 2,000 that launched the...

Cover of Dastgah

Mark Mordue

Dastgah

  • nonfiction

A lovely, impressionistic book … idiosyncratic, entertaining, vulnerable and unpretentious.

Newsweek

Award-winning Australian journalist Mark Mordue invites you on his world trip that ranges from a Rolling Stones concert in Istanbul to talking with mullahs and junkies in Tehran, and from a cricket match in Calcutta to an S&M bar in New York, in addition to many points in between. Mordue chronicles...

Cover of So Late, So Soon

D’Arcy Fallon

So Late, So Soon

  • nonfiction / memoir

A clear-eyed, compassionate, and rewarding book.

Bernard Cooper
Author of Maps to Anywhere

​D’Arcy Fallon offers an irreverent, fly-on-the-wall view of the Lighthouse Ranch, a Christian commune she called home for three years in the mid-1970s. At eighteen years old, when life’s questions overwhelmed her and reconciling her family past with her future seemed impossible, she accidentally...

A modern-day Kerouac.

Mark Jude Poirier
Author of Goats

​Poe Ballantine’s risky personal essays are populated with odd jobs, eccentric characters, boarding houses, buses, and beer. He takes us along on his Greyhound bus journey through small town America (including a detour to Mexico), exploring what it means to be human. Written with piercing...

Cover of September 11

Edited by Jeff Meyers

September 11

  • nonfiction / current affairs

A remarkable anthology.

Los Angeles Times

The events of September 11, 2001, their myriad repercussions, and our varied and often contradictory responses to them have inspired this collection of West Coast writers’ responses to the terrorist acts. By virtue of history and geographic distance, the West Coast has developed a community...