There are so many amazing autobiographies out there, and there are none more controversial and thought-provoking than the ones that deal with tough issues such as mental illnesses, abuse, disease and drug-taking. The autobiographies included in this list are all truly incredible and will really make you look at life in a different way. Head to your local bookshop and take some time to have a look at these amazing autobiographies.
1 ‘Black like Me’ by John Howard Griffin
This book was the first autobiography I had ever read as a child. My dad gave it to me and I though it was seriously incredible. It’s the story of a caucasian man who takes medication to turn his skin brown. He then travels through America experiencing the racism and injustices of life as a coloured man. This is definitely one of the most amazing autobiographies I’ve ever read.
2 ‘I Am Malala’ by Malala Yousafzai
We all know the story of Malala, the young girl who spoke out about education and was shot in the head by the Taliban. This autobiography is just as special as you would imagine: we see life through Malala’s eyes and share her experiences with her. This is a wonderful book written by a phenomenal girl.
3 ‘Girl, Interrupted’ by Susanna Kaysen
This is a book about Susanna, who was placed in a psychiatric hospital at the age of just eighteen, where she would spend the next two years of her life. The techniques used on the patients in this hospital will shock you, and Susanna remembers them and her fellow inmates perfectly. You will probably have trouble believing that a place like this could possibly exist.
4 ‘a Child Called It’ by Dave Pelzer
Dave Pelzer was the victim of one of the most horrific child abuse cases ever, and this his survival story. On more than one occasion, Dave Pelzer was nearly killed by his mother and was often left to starve for days on end. This is a super confronting book and definitely not for the faint-hearted. This will certainly make you see life in a different way.
5 ‘Scar Tissue’ by Anthony Kiedis
Lead singer of rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis, has written this brutally honest autobiography about his life and his dependency on drugs. This book will definitely make you cry, so you have been warned! This is a book about bravery and new beginnings, and is seriously wonderful.
6 ‘Look Me in the Eye’ by John Elder Robison
‘Look Me in the Eye’ is an autobiography by someone suffering from Aspergers Syndrome, which is a form of Autism. John Elder Robison was picked on as a child due to his inability to make eye contact with people, or recognise how they were feeling. This book follows Robison’s journey to accepting his disorder and learning to live with it.
7 ‘the Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of Darkness’ by Karen Armstrong
Reading ‘The Spiral Staircase’ will make you bond with the storyteller more than you perhaps thought possible. You are lead on her journey through leaving the Roman Catholic Church after being a nun for years, her inability to cope with the outside world and her diagnosis with epilepsy. This book takes you on an emotional whirlwind of a journey, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll love every minute of it!
Autobiographies are a great way to gain insight into the lives of others and the things they have dealt with throughout their lifetime. There are so many wonderful, interesting ones out there just waiting to be read! Whose autobiography is your absolute favourite?