Four memoirs have been Longlisted, showcasing a range of human experience from life-changing journeys in Central America to over 40 years of solitary confinement in one of the nation’s most brutal prisons. In What You Have Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance, an unexpected encounter with a stranger brings poet Carolyn Forché to El Salvador where she is exposed to a country on the precipice of war. Focused on her family’s property in New Orleans, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells the story of how a family, a home, and a city has weathered tragedy, catastrophe, and inequality. In Burn the Place: A Memoir, self-taught chef Iliana Regan shares her story of growing up gay in an intolerant town, finding her identity through food, and launching a Michelin-starred career. Written with Leslie George, Solitary revisits the four decades Albert Woodfox spent in solitary confinement for a crime he didn’t commit, and how he—and the others in the Angola 3—turned injustice into a story of resistance and survival.
Source: 2019 National Book Awards Longlist for Nonfiction – National Book Foundation