Books: 5 Memoirs That You Won't Forget

Fiction is fun, but for real drama there's nothing like a firsthand account

Memoirs. It seems everyone has one. But there's something about a well-told life story: it can be as gripping as a murder mystery or funnier than a farce. Here are five lives worth observing.

THEM

FRANCINE DU PLESSIX GRAY

The title of her memoir aptly describes the gulf Gray perceived between her and her parents. Her mother, the vain and extravagant hat designer Tatiana, and her stepfather Alexander Liberman, who rose to become the editorial director of Condé Nast, were dedicated to each other and to their mutual ascent in post--World War II New York City society, lavishing attention on friends...

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