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6 Alberta Books for the Memoir Reader

Perfect for the people on your list that prefer non-fiction over fiction and spend their time binging documentaries— here are 6 Alberta-published memoirs. Pick from books about a woman’s experience biking the Trans Am Bike race, a personal account of growing up with communist propaganda, and more. Find more recommendations here!

By Meaghan Marie Hackinen

Meaghan Marie Hackinen’s follow-up to her award-nominated debut South Away charts her unforgettable, twenty-five-day journey on the Trans Am Bike Race: a coast-to-coast ride across the entire North American continent from Oregon to Virginia. Without the aid of a support crew, Hackinen must rely entirely on her wits, ingenuity and sheer determination to finish this extremely challenging feat. A sports story with a unique theme, Hackinen writes about the Trans Am Bike Race as a cultural whole, as she encounters consequences and unforeseen repercussions of an underground, unregulated athletic endeavour. Shifting Gears is another expertly-delivered travelogue and a thrilling glimpse into a world of athletes driven to impossible lengths.

Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race

Meaghan Marie Hackinen (CA)

Published: Oct 01, 2023 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390801

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook

By Charlotte Bellows

In 2020, fourteen-year-old Charlotte’s lifelong drive to achieve ‘perfection’ distorts into an all-encompassing obsession. Living between the suffocating world of lockdown and an uncanny dreamscape inhabited by competing avatars, Charlotte faces a parade of masked faces in hospital rooms, the aftermath of first love, the erosion of lifelong friendship, and the agony of seeing her illness devastate her family as it threatens to destroy her; as the world reopens, she finds new connections and mentors, new joy, new ways of thinking, new ways to be.

The Definition of Beautiful: A Memoir

Charlotte Bellows (CA)

Published: Sep 01, 2023 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781990601460

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook

By Kathy Klaus

Wild Ride: Women’s Stories and Life Lessons is a collection of stories written by women that share their memories and a word of advice that they would offer to their younger selves. Each woman brings heart and soul into her writing in stories ranging from everyday family life, travel, achievement and humour. Life can be unexpected; it’s simple but complicated, and all the while, we are surrounded by story.

Wild Ride

Kathy Klaus

Published: Aug 02, 2022 by Dragon Hill Publishing
ISBN: 9781896124827

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook

By Magda Stroinska, PhD

My Life in Propaganda is Magda Stroińska’s personal account of growing up with communist propaganda in Eastern Europe. She looks at the influence of her family history that contradicted what she was taught at school, the cognitive and emotional effects of compulsory school readings, socialist realist art and film, Radio Free Europe and Voice of America and their role in shaping her generation’s collective view of the world. She also observes post-communist societies through the lens of societal trauma and explains how to understand the sudden fall into the populist trap. This demonstrates that democracy can never be taken for granted.

Cover: My Life in Propaganda My Life in Propaganda: Language and Totalitarian Regimes

Magda Stroinska (CA)

Published: Oct 01, 2023 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781990735332


Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook and audiobook

By Esmeralda Cabral

An inviting family travel story about an extended stay in Portugal, full of food and cooking adventures, language barriers and bureaucracy, and that irresistible need to connect with the culture of our birth.

How to Clean a Fish: And Other Adventures in Portugal

Esmeralda Cabral (CA)

Published: May 10, 2023 by University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772126556

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook

By Joshua Whitehead, in dialogue with Angie Abdou

Evolving from a conversation between Joshua Whitehead and Angie Abdou, Indigiqueerness is part dialogue, part collage, and part memoir. Beginning with memories of his childhood poetry and prose and travelling through the library of his life, Whitehead contemplates the role of theory, Indigenous language, queerness, and fantastical worlds in all his artistic pursuits. This volume is imbued with Whitehead’s energy and celebrates Indigenous writers and creators who defy expectations and transcend genres.

Indigiqueerness: A Conversation about Storytelling

Joshua Whitehead (CA)

Published: Apr 25, 2023 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781771993913