,

Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography

NOTE: This list is for non-fiction only.
1

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4.18 avg rating — 3,331,536 ratings
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2

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4.30 avg rating — 1,066,150 ratings
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3

by
4.36 avg rating — 1,124,635 ratings
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4

by
4.13 avg rating — 595,174 ratings
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5

by
3.60 avg rating — 1,637,574 ratings
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6

by
4.21 avg rating — 456,579 ratings
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7

by
4.14 avg rating — 911,384 ratings
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8

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,003,829 ratings
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9

by
4.27 avg rating — 483,475 ratings
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10

by
3.74 avg rating — 376,760 ratings
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11

by
4.34 avg rating — 246,911 ratings
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12

by
4.12 avg rating — 410,170 ratings
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13

by
4.25 avg rating — 187,308 ratings
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14

by
4.37 avg rating — 572,502 ratings
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15

by
4.33 avg rating — 136,379 ratings
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16

by
3.90 avg rating — 3,886 ratings
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17

by
4.44 avg rating — 296,493 ratings
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18

by
4.36 avg rating — 296,568 ratings
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19

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 669,370 ratings
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20

by
4.04 avg rating — 717,611 ratings
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21

by
4.26 avg rating — 105,679 ratings
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22

by
3.96 avg rating — 944,122 ratings
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23

by
4.13 avg rating — 461,758 ratings
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24

by
4.15 avg rating — 180,041 ratings
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25

by
4.06 avg rating — 347,367 ratings
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26

by
4.09 avg rating — 673,011 ratings
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27

by
4.25 avg rating — 329,522 ratings
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28

by
4.33 avg rating — 260,521 ratings
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29

by
4.17 avg rating — 88,936 ratings
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30

by
4.07 avg rating — 143,527 ratings
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31

by
3.77 avg rating — 98,320 ratings
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32

by
3.66 avg rating — 340,695 ratings
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33

by
4.18 avg rating — 228,916 ratings
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34

by
4.10 avg rating — 116,008 ratings
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35

by
3.63 avg rating — 129,998 ratings
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36

by
4.55 avg rating — 185,177 ratings
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37

by
4.35 avg rating — 7,992 ratings
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38

by
4.10 avg rating — 7,108 ratings
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39

by
4.37 avg rating — 874,827 ratings
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40

by
4.38 avg rating — 159,207 ratings
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41

by
3.92 avg rating — 211,931 ratings
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42

by
3.78 avg rating — 2,272 ratings
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43

by
3.72 avg rating — 1,822 ratings
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44

by
4.10 avg rating — 66,812 ratings
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45

by
3.92 avg rating — 251,156 ratings
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46

by
4.47 avg rating — 1,217,952 ratings
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47

by
3.75 avg rating — 1,632 ratings
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48

by
3.98 avg rating — 42,275 ratings
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49

by
3.92 avg rating — 194,423 ratings
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50

by
4.16 avg rating — 1,142,962 ratings
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51

by
3.25 avg rating — 8,532 ratings
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52

by
3.91 avg rating — 40,828 ratings
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53

by
3.92 avg rating — 217,243 ratings
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54

by
3.70 avg rating — 1,168 ratings
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55

by
3.68 avg rating — 178,246 ratings
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56

by
3.67 avg rating — 241,344 ratings
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57

by
4.13 avg rating — 35,874 ratings
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58

by
4.06 avg rating — 380,688 ratings
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59

by
4.01 avg rating — 93,280 ratings
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60

by
4.08 avg rating — 112,428 ratings
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61

by
4.16 avg rating — 33,076 ratings
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62

by
3.93 avg rating — 65,048 ratings
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63

by
4.12 avg rating — 272,643 ratings
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64

by
4.26 avg rating — 185,422 ratings
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65

by
3.71 avg rating — 60,793 ratings
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66

by
3.97 avg rating — 68,372 ratings
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67

by
3.95 avg rating — 42,936 ratings
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68

by
3.58 avg rating — 2,321 ratings
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69

by
3.98 avg rating — 88,772 ratings
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70

by
4.26 avg rating — 176,957 ratings
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71

by
3.62 avg rating — 58,883 ratings
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72

by
4.07 avg rating — 160,915 ratings
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73

by
4.30 avg rating — 42,169 ratings
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74

by
3.95 avg rating — 54,080 ratings
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75

by
4.17 avg rating — 50,133 ratings
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76

by
4.23 avg rating — 75,329 ratings
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77

by
4.21 avg rating — 31,506 ratings
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78

by
3.87 avg rating — 94,789 ratings
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79

by
3.85 avg rating — 3,827 ratings
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80

by
3.66 avg rating — 1,167 ratings
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81

by
4.30 avg rating — 65,341 ratings
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82

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 23,279 ratings
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83

by
4.11 avg rating — 71,593 ratings
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84

by
4.14 avg rating — 6,473 ratings
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85

by
3.81 avg rating — 159,403 ratings
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86

by
3.80 avg rating — 18,561 ratings
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87

by
4.14 avg rating — 519,907 ratings
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88

by
4.17 avg rating — 81,829 ratings
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89

by
3.98 avg rating — 71,922 ratings
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90

by
3.85 avg rating — 59,392 ratings
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91

by
3.71 avg rating — 1,953 ratings
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92

by
4.32 avg rating — 75,554 ratings
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93

by
4.01 avg rating — 32,066 ratings
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94

by
4.01 avg rating — 32,069 ratings
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95

by
3.91 avg rating — 66,333 ratings
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96

by
4.08 avg rating — 256,458 ratings
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97

by
3.78 avg rating — 1,563 ratings
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98

by
3.93 avg rating — 57,489 ratings
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99

by
3.66 avg rating — 1,396 ratings
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100

by
3.96 avg rating — 26,714 ratings
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5,315 books · 5,799 voters · list created July 13th, 2008 by Heather (votes) .
922 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Heather 859 books
163 friends
Kate 4471 books
1434 friends
Nikhil P. 7801 books
195 friends
Russellino 479 books
2 friends
Chriss 297 books
412 friends
Jennifer 5500 books
46 friends
Tracy 506 books
37 friends
Asli 285 books
23 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 76 (76 new)


message 1: by Raelle (new)

Raelle Koota PATRON SAINT OF USED CARS AND SECOND CHANCES
by MARK MILLHONE

Beautiful, honest memoir that appeals to both men and women which is so rare. It is very funny, but have your kleenex near by and the phone numbers of family members handy to tell them you love them and value them


message 2: by Ryann (last edited Oct 02, 2009 01:06PM) (new)

Ryann FYI: "What is the What" is not a memoir. Nor is "Sarah's Key." Both are great books, but they're fiction.


message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie add:Time To Be In Earnest: A Fragment Of Autobiography|3831], P. D. James

This is fabulous. six stars


message 4: by Pia (new)

Pia Never forget Anne Frank.


message 5: by Jaliyah (new)

Jaliyah this was a good book..going to read more like this !


message 6: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey The Lovely Bones isn't a memoir or biography.


message 7: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Hannibal by Thomas Harris and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller are both fiction, and I removed them.


message 8: by Sue (new)

Sue Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list.


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda Sue T wrote: "Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list."

Can we get them removed? One of the reasons I came to look at this list was to find good biographies to add to my TBR list, so I want to be sure I'm not reading a book I think is a biography then discover it was fiction.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Linda wrote: "Sue T wrote: "Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list."

Can we get them removed? One of the reasons I came to look at this list was to find good biographies to add to my TBR list, so I want ..."


Please don't remove them - even those are fiction-biography books, this list is still gorgeous.


message 11: by Elle (new)


message 12: by Darbi (new)

Darbi Simmons Thank you so much for creating this list Heather! I have been looking for 'Oh the Glory of it all." for years but I couldn't remember the name, thought I knew I would recognize the cover. I found it on your list and now I can read it again! Your awesome!


message 13: by Janet (new)

Janet "Good Grief" is fiction.


message 14: by Janet (new)

Janet "The Friday Night Knitting Club" is fiction. Why do people put fiction titles on non-fiction lists??


message 15: by Guy (new)

Guy Here's a real fun wild and crazy memoir about the movie biz and about finding true love...please vote for this cover - Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot :)


message 16: by John (new)

John Scott Khaled Hosseini's Books (Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns) are Fiction.


message 17: by Sadi (new)

Sadi Without moving from the first page there are at least three fiction novels on this.


message 18: by Missy J (new)

Missy J "Eat, Pray, Love" ranks higher up than "First they killed my father"?

The world is ending...


message 19: by Atticus (new)

Atticus No one even mentioned A Playboy Virgin's Manifesto by Atticus Rockefellar. Oh, the humanity!

http://www.amazon.com/Playboy-Virgins...


message 20: by Ben (last edited Sep 14, 2012 12:25PM) (new)

Ben The following are fiction:

#113 A Thousand Splendid Suns
#128 Memoirs of a Geisha

Shall I delete? Any others that need to go?


message 21: by Ben (new)

Ben I added a list description:

NOTE: This list is for non-fiction only.

Hopefully, this will stop the tide of fiction.


message 22: by Jean (new)

Jean Perry The Agony and the Ecstacy is fiction.


message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie Too bad one can only have 100 books on a list. I've read so many more great ones than are on my list.


message 24: by Julie (new)

Julie Not really sure if I'd classify Torey Hayden's books as memoirs but they all are great.


message 25: by William (new)

William Pfefferkorn how can i print out a list of just the title and author


message 26: by I-love-reading (new)

I-love-reading A million little pieces was later proved to be fiction


message 27: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy A number of the books on the list are fiction, for example, Winds of War


message 28: by Morgan (new)

Morgan a thousand splendid suns is fiction...


message 29: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Morgan wrote: "a thousand splendid suns is fiction..." Deleted.


message 30: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Memory Keeper's daughter is fiction


message 31: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Also Brick Lane and Pope Joan are novels as well. Laura Ingallss Wilder's books are generally classified as fiction


message 32: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy one more. A tree grows in Brookly is fiction as well.


message 33: by Cherie (new)

Cherie Magnus How can we search for specific titles on this list?


message 34: by John (last edited May 21, 2014 11:30AM) (new)

John Scott I call "stupid" or "a--hole" on every single one of the people putting fiction on this list.


message 35: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Three cups of tea is fiction.


message 36: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Lesley wrote: "Three cups of tea is fiction."

It's marketed as a memoir.


message 37: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Amazon has added: 'From Viking Press
In regards to the 60 Minutes episode that aired April 17, 2011: "Greg Mortenson’s work as a humanitarian in Afghanistan and Pakistan has provided tens of thousands of children with an education. 60 Minutes is a serious news organization and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author."'


message 38: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix If we start judging memoirs and biographies on their truthfulness, it will open a huge can of worms, and so far as I know, librarians haven't been given any guidance on the issue.


message 39: by Mitchell (new)

Mitchell this list could use a minimum number of ratings - like 1000 - to avoid author spam.


message 40: by Sue (new)

Sue "The Shack" is NOT memoir


message 41: by Devorah (new)


message 42: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Winds of War and the Bell Jar are both fiction


message 43: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy She's Come Undone, Great Expectations and Uncle Tom's Cabin are all fiction.


message 44: by Keston (new)

Keston Ott-Dahl Saving Delaney

Laugh, Cry and be INSPIRED by this amazing little warrior!


message 45: by Donna (last edited Jun 13, 2016 11:39AM) (new)

Donna Davis Removed for being children's fiction: Little House on the Prairie

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

NONE of the "Little House" series is autobiography. When confronted by a journalist about the scene in one of the books in which a family member is chased by ravenous wolves, which of course is not something wolves do to humans, LIW replied with great dignity that she had not intended to write history; she intended to write stories for children.

This author does have an actual memoir, but it doesn't, at least in my opinion, hold the charm and interest level that her children's series commands.

Oh wow...I'm going to find that whole series here, aren't I? Removed from #124, see above, Farmer Boy:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8...

..and less than 1 minute later, I find the entire series in one boxed set; I wasn't so clairvoyant as to see it coming, but expected to find it one title at a time...and likely I still will. Anyway, gone from #194:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

From #466 On the Banks of Plum Creek:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...
Also from page 5, The Long Winter:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

P.6 Little Town on the Prairie
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

Also from p6 Those Happy Golden Years

and The First Four Years
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

p. 10, By the Shores of Silver Lake:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

#744, removed for being fictional, Great Expectations:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 46: by Donna (last edited Jul 01, 2016 07:56PM) (new)

Donna Davis #221, removed for being fictional, Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...

Travel book removed from #209:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Removed:
The Winds of War, fiction:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

and Good Grief, also fiction:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 47: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl The ones by McCullough on Truman and John Adams are not memoirs. They are extremely well researched biographies. A memoir is a non -fiction book written from personal experience. Or a written account of one's memory of certain events or people. One could write a memoir of a person to whom one is or was very close as a spouse, or child. I agree - a lot of fiction on this list as well!


message 48: by Donna (last edited Aug 16, 2016 03:46PM) (new)

Donna Davis Cheryl wrote: "The ones by McCullough on Truman and John Adams are not memoirs. They are extremely well researched biographies. A memoir is a non -fiction book written from personal experience. Or a written accou..."

Take another look at the title of the listopia. Memoir, biography, autobiography. McCullough is dull as dirt, imho, but his books are clearly within the parameters of the listmaker.

If you see fiction and want me to pull it, give me titles and tell me what page each is on, and I'll be happy to do it. I have a little time right now and will check the list to see what jumps out at me.


message 49: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Humorous guinea pig book is not a memoir:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Removed from #319.


message 50: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Cannery Can someone help me find the name of this memoir I read once? (I was expecting to find it on this list)
It was a memoir by an Iranian?-I think- woman who was imprisoned and coerced into marrying her prison guard for a while and now lives in Canada. I wanted to show my mum it, but I can't remember the name of it. I recall it had a picture of a woman looking off a building on the front cover. If anyone can help that'd be awesome. Thanks.


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