Classic Celebrity Memoirs and Their Contemporary Counterparts

“Everybody needs his memories,” Saul Bellow once wrote. “They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.” These days, the same can be true of fame. It’s no surprise then that celebrity memoirs and autobiographies continue to flood the market — much to our personal glee. As self-proclaimed aficionados, we’ve decided to help you navigate the waters; here are a few contemporary titles, paired with a soft focus homage to their vintage predecessors, never to be forgotten. If you’ve got a recommendation to add to our list, be sure to leave it in the comments.

Pressure to Perform

Lauren Bacall’s Lauren Bacall: By Myself & Patti Smith’s Just Kids

Prior to Patti Smith’s Just Kids, in 1980, Lauren Bacall’s autobiography Lauren Bacall: By Myself, also earned a National Book Award. Both publications articulately celebrate, not just the artistry that made these ladies famous, but also the intimate relationships surrounding their growth — for Smith it was with Mapplethorpe, for Bacall, Bogart. Following the acclaim, Smith is now hard at work on her next memoir. Hopefully, the title will be more creative than Bacall’s sequel: Lauren Bacall: By Myself and Then Some.