Now that everyone seems to be getting a book deal, a straight autobiography just doesn’t cut it anymore. Fortunately, as the number of gratuitous celebrity bios has increased, so too has the originality of books by the writers who are actual professionals in the medium. In the past year, we’ve seen the traditional autobiography in particular veer in several unique directions — not least of which is beyond the grave — so check out these five recent alternatives to the classic genre archetype, and you’ll understand why these authors really deserve a book deal.
The Box: Tales from the Darkroom by Gunter Grass
Nobel laureate Gunter Grass has taken on a new approach to self-examination with this patchwork quilt of fictionalized perspectives. Adopting the individual vantage of each of his eight children, he writes about himself from what he imagines is their views of him as a father and a writer. It’s a highly experimental approach but given Grass’ linguistic dexterity and creativity it comes through with engrossing momentum.