Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a new memoir about growing up wealthy on Philadelphia's Main Line. The author's grandmother was the inspiration for Katherine Hepburn's character in the film The Philadelphia Story.
Diane Johnson often writes about American heroines living in France, but when she began her memoir, she found herself drawn back to her native ground in America's heartland. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Flyover Lives "lets scenes and conversations speak for themselves, accruing power as they lodge in readers' minds."
When writer Lynn Darling found herself at a turning point in her life, she sought solitude and enlightenment in the woods of Vermont. Her new memoir, Out of the Woods, describes that midlife experience. Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan calls it "a compelling story of internal exploration, as well as outward-bound adventure."
In her new memoir, Shocked, Volk examines the two women who had a lasting impact on her as she began to parse who she was as a woman: her beautiful, critical mother, Audrey Morgen Volk; and the famous -- and unconventional -- haute couture designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
2012 has been a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan found that her favorite fiction and nonfiction this year directly confronted the atmospheric uncertainty of the age.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo began looking out for his mother early in life. In his new memoir, Elsewhere, Russo writes not only of his mother, but of the vanished world that shaped her. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls the book "gorgeously nuanced."