The following titles are good examples of essays, memoirs, and poems that tell personal stories.
Akbar, Kaveh. “How I Found Poetry in Childhood Prayer: In the Presence of the Long Faultless Tongue of God.” Literary Hub, 12 Sept. 2017, https://lithub.com/kaveh-akbar-how-i-found-poetry-in-childhood-prayer/.
Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Random House, 1969.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 4th ed., Aunt Lute Books, 2012.
Baldwin, James. Notes of a Native Son. 1955. Beacon Press, 2012.
Beasley, Sandra. Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. Crown, 2011.
Bryson, Bill. I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after 20 Years Away. Broadway Books, 1999.
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Pantheon Books, 1994.
McCourt, Frank. Angela’s Ashes. Scribner, 1996.
O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Houghton Mifflin, 1990.
Pausch, Randy. The Last Lecture. With Jeffrey Zaslow, Hyperion, 2008.
Schutz, Samantha. I Don’t Want to Be Crazy. Scholastic, 2006.
Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle: A Memoir. Scribner, 2006.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014.