Nonfiction of 2022

We’re excited to share this year-end roundup of memoirs, essay collections, and other works of nonfiction published in 2022 by independent literary publishers! (Read our year-end roundups for fiction, poetry, children’s books, and art and drama as well.)




The Vanished Collection by Pauline Baer de Perignon

Translated by Natasha Lehrer

New Vessel Press | January 11, 2022

This memoir “takes Pauline Baer de Perignon from the Occupation of France to the present day as she breaks the silence around the wrenching experiences her family never fully transmitted, and asks what art itself is capable of conveying over time.”




Duplex by Mike Nagel

Autofocus Books | February 8, 2022

In this memoir, “a distinct mind is constantly working over the absurdity, meaninglessness, and mundanity of contemporary life in ways both laugh-out-loud funny and thoughtfully compelling.”




Television, a memoir by Karen Brennan

Four Way Books | February 15, 2022

Television, a memoir is “a hybrid collection of autobiographical pieces, tragi-comic in spirit, that depict a woman’s life evolving through time and culture in fragmentary glimpses.”




Dear Queer Self: An Experiment in Memoir by Jonathan Alexander

Acre Books | March 15, 2022

In this unconventional memoir, “Alexander, who grew up in the Deep South during the 1970s and ’80s, addresses wry and affecting missives to a conflicted younger self.”




Double Negative by Claudia Putnam

Split/Lip Press | March 15, 2022

Selected by Jenny Boully as the winner of the 2021 SLP Nonfiction/Hybrid Chapbook Contest, Double Negative “explores the aftermath of losing a child, the questions of grief, and the impossibility of choice.”




Uncommon Measure: A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time by Natalie Hodges

Bellevue Literary Press | March 22, 2022

Concert solo violinist Hodges “traces her own passage through difficult family dynamics, prejudice, and enormous personal expectations to come to terms with the meaning of a life reimagined.”




Today is Tomorrow by Caroline Kurtz

Catalyst Press | April 5, 2022

This memoir is “a deeply personal examination of South Sudan at war—and a woman at war with herself.”




The Bern Book: A Record of a Voyage of the Mind by Vincent O. Carter

Dalkey Archive | April 5, 2022

The Bern Book is “a travelogue, a memoir… and a meditation on the myth and reality of race in midcentury Europe and America.”




The Iron Scar: A Father and Son in Siberia by Bob Kunzinger

Madville Publishing | April 19, 2022

With photographs by Michael Kunzinger, The Iron Scar “is both a literal journey by a father and son on the longest railway journey in the world, and a metaphoric pilgrimage.”




Plan B: A Poet’s Survivors Manual by Sandy McIntosh

Marsh Hawk Press | May 15, 2022

In this writing memoir, McIntosh “reassures us that it is possible to have a successful career as a poet while holding down day jobs that make us better writers.”




Little Brother by Sallie Bingham

Sarabande Books | May 17, 2022

In this memoir, Bingham writes her brother’s “short history with obvious affection and tenderness, along with more than a dash of survival guilt.”




Rooms: Women, Writing, Woolf by Sina Queyras

Coach House Books | May 31, 2022

This memoir “offers a peek into the defining spaces a young queer writer moved through as they found their way from a life of chaos to a life of the mind.”





The NBA in Black and White by Ray Scott

Seven Stories Press | June 7, 2022

Introduced by Earl the Pearl Monroe, this book is “a memoir of hard lessons learned in the racially segregated and sometimes outright racist NBA of the early ’60s by celebrated NBA player and the first Black Coach of the Year.”




Until It Feels Right by Emily Costa

Autofocus Books | June 21, 2022

Until It Feels Right is “a series of framed and stylized diary entries written during the three weeks” of an intensive program of cognitive behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder.




Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust by Jerry Stahl

Akashic Books | July 5, 2022

Stahl’s memoir “stands out as a triumph of strange-o reporting, a tale that takes us from gang polkas to tour-rash to the truly disturbing snack bar at Auschwitz.”




Missing by Cornelia Spelman

JackLeg Press | July 15, 2022

“Using everything from letters and interviews to the family’s quotidian paper trail,” Spelman’s memoir “reconstructs her mother’s life and untimely death.”




Enjoy Me Among My Ruins by Juniper Fitzgerald

Feminist Press | August 30, 2022

This experimental manifesto “combining feminist theories, X-Files fandom, and memoir… draws together a kaleidoscopic archive of Juniper Fitzgerald’s experiences as a queer sex-working mother.”




Creativity: Where Poems Begin by Mary Mackey

Marsh Hawk Press | September 1, 2022

In this memoir, Mackey “charts the paths of her own creativity as she tries to discover an entry point to the magical place where the seed of a poem starts to open.”




Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux

Translated from French by Alison L. Strayer

Seven Stories Press | September 6, 2022

Getting Lost is “the diary Annie Ernaux kept during the year and a half she had a secret love affair with a younger, married man, a Russian diplomat.”



Sailing at the Edge of Disaster: A Memoir of a Young Woman’s Daring Year by Elizabeth W. Garber

Toad Hall Editions | September 13, 2022

Garber’s debut memoir “chronicles a transformative year in the throes of late adolescence that leads to courage, grace, and a reclamation of selfhood.”




Sinkhole by Juliet Patterson

Milkweed Editions | September 13, 2022

According to Terry Tempest Williams, “Sinkhole resurrects our dead from the sorrow and silences surrounding suicide and gives voice to the whys of their voiceless acts.”




Lunch with Lizabeth by Todd Hughes

Pelekinesis | September 29, 2022

In this memoir, Lizabeth Scott “reveals to Hughes her ebullient personality and zest for life while shedding insight into her fabulously brief career as an international film star.”




Bearded Lady by Allison Landa

Woodhall Press | October 4, 2022

Landa’s memoir is “a tale of hiding and revealing, of secrets and salvation, of how what we believe sets us apart actually unites us.”




The Running Body by Emily Pifer

Autumn House Press | October 7, 2022

Pifer’s debut memoir “wrestles and reckons with power and agency, language and story, body dysphoria and beauty standards, desire and addiction, loss and healing.”




Daughter of Spies by Elizabeth Winthrop Alsop

Regal House Publishing | October 25, 2022

In this memoir, Alsop “explores who her mother was, why alcohol played such an important role in her mother’s life, and why her mother held herself apart from all her children, especially her only daughter.”




Find a Place for Me by Deirdre Fagan

Regal House Publishing | November 1, 2022

Find a Place for Me is “a memoir about facing a marriage’s last act—a spouse’s death—as a couple united in mind and holding hands.”




Drumming with Dead Can Dance and Parallel Adventures by Peter Ulrich

Red Hen Press | November 15, 2022

In this memoir, Ulrich “recounts his experiences as drummer/percussionist with Dead Can Dance through the 1980s, contributor to This Mortal Coil, and guest on other 4AD recordings.”




Essay Collections


More or Less: Essays from a Year of No Buying by Susannah Q. Pratt

EastOver Press | February 15, 2022

The essays in this collection “explore how contemporary Americans have come to be defined by their possessions.”




The Pursuit: A Meditation on Happiness by Gerry LaFemina

Madville Publishing | February 15, 2022

LaFemina’s book is “a hodge-podge: memoir, philosophy, lit crit, pop culture, history, and reflection.”




Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms by Tim McLoughlin

Akashic Books | March 1, 2022

In this collection of short fiction and nonfiction, McLoughlin “draws upon his three-decade career in the criminal justice system with his characteristic wit and his fascination with misfits and malfeasance.”





Dear Damage by Ashley Marie Farmer

Sarabande Books | March 15, 2022

According to Publishers Weekly, in this collection of hybrid essays Farmer “parses her complicated family history to create a heart-wrenching portrait of love, family, loss, and aging.”




Fire Season: Selected Essays, 1984–2021 by Gary Indiana

Seven Stories Press | April 12, 2022

In these selected essays, Indiana “serves up sometimes bitchy, always generous, erudite, and joyful assessments from the last thirty-five years of cutting edge film, art, and literature.”




You Have Not Yet Been Defeated by Alaa Abd el-Fattah

Seven Stories Press | April 12, 2022

These essays, social media posts, and interviews “present not only a unique account from the frontline of a decade of global upheaval, but a catalogue of ideas about other futures those upheavals could yet reveal.”




Che Guevara Reader by Ernesto Che Guevara

Seven Stories Press | April 26, 2022

These collected writings from Ernesto Che Guevara “highlight his principled politics and praxis in the fight against capitalism and US imperialism.”




The Book of Explanations by Tedi López Mills

Translated from Spanish by Robin Myers

Deep Vellum | May 10, 2022

The Book of Explanations is “a hybrid, genre-defying book of essays following the unusual and surprising complexities of everyday life.”





Reading the Signs: and other itinerant essays by Stephen Benz

Etruscan Press | May 17, 2022

In these travel essays, Benz “ventures around town, across country, and overseas in search of forgotten, overlooked, or misunderstood stories.”




Kids in America: A Gen X Reckoning by Liz Prato

Santa Fe Writers Project | June 14, 2022

In this essay collection, Prato “reveals a generation deeply affected by terrorism, racial inequality, rape culture, and mental illness, in an era when none of these issues were openly discussed.”




The Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit: Essays on Politics, History, and Culture by Becca Balint

Green Writers Press | June 14, 2022

According to Amanda Ripley, “In this collection of columns, we get to laugh and learn from a woman who isn’t afraid of admitting mistakes. Who leads with humility and courage.”




The Gate in the Garden Wall by Sam Pickering

Madville Publishing | June 21, 2022

Pickering’s essays “reflect his enjoyment of and love of life, particularly the ordinary things that form the fabric ‘of all our lives.'”




Border/Between: A Symphony in Essays by Carol D. Marsh

Bamboo Dart Press | June 30, 2022

In these essays, Marsh writes “about death, addictions, and war while also exploring how written form and expression have a counterpart in music.”




Ships in the Desert by Jeff Fearnside

Santa Fe Writers Project | August 1, 2022

Ships in the Desert “explores universal issues of religious bigotry, cultural intolerance, environmental degradation, and how a battle over water rights led to a catastrophe that is now being repeated around the world.”




Groundglass by Kathryn Savage

Coffee House Press | August 2, 2022

This book-length essay “takes shape atop a polluted aquifer in Minnesota, beside trains that haul fracked crude oil, as Kathryn Savage confronts the transgressions of U.S. Superfund sites and brownfields against land, groundwater, neighborhoods, and people.”




Bright by Kiki  Petrosino

Sarabande Books | August 9, 2022

In this essay collection, Petrosino “contemplates the enduring, deeply personal legacies of enslavement and racial discrimination in America.”




Cleave by Holly Pelesky

Autofocus Books | August 23, 2022

Cleave is “a tight collection of epistolary creative nonfiction that examines the ambiguous grief of being a birth mother caught in the momentum of adulthood and the constant choices that come along with it.”




Imminent Domains: Reckoning with the Anthropocene by Alessandra Naccarato

Book*hug Press | September 27, 2022

In these essays, Naccarato “addresses fundamental questions about our modern relationship to nature amidst depictions of landscapes undergoing dramatic transformation.”




Where’s My Wine Glass?! by Linda Presto

Woodhall Press | October 4, 2022

Where’s My Wine Glass?! Getting Your Kid to College Without Losing Your Mind is a collection of “humorous essays for parents of children who are prepping for, leaving for, or attending college.”





Hole Studies by Hilary Plum

Fonograf Editions | October 11, 2022

This essay collection explores “writing and labor, art and activism, attention as a transformative practice, difference and collaboration, adjuncting and the margins of the academy, whiteness and its weapons, professionalization and its discontents, the radical importance of surprise, friendship at work, the self and its public and private modes.”




The Visible Unseen by Andrea Chapela

Translated from the Spanish by Kelsi Vanada

Restless Books | October 11, 2022

The Visible Unseen is a “collection of experimental essays exploring the properties and poetics of glass, mirrors, and light as a means of understanding the self.”




Hidden Cargoes by Chris Arthur

EastOver Press | October 15, 2022

This essay collection “ranges over subjects as various as a girl’s ear, a vulture’s egg, the letters in a Scrabble game, a sprig of witch-hazel, and the chasms of complexity contained in an ordinary moment.”




The Autobiography of a Language: Essays and Stories by Mirene Arsanios

Futurepoem | October 15, 2022

According to Mónica de la Torre, “Arsanios both mourns and blasts apart the notion of the mother tongue, reminding us that for each ‘mother tongue’ at least another tongue is silenced.”




Just Like Oz: Essays on a Few Poet Wizards & Their Multifaceted Magic by George Drew

Madville Publishing | October 18, 2022

This essay collection “examines the work of ‘wizard poets,’ some well-known and even iconic, a few unknown to the wider literary community.”




Dream Rooms by River Halen

Book*hug Press | October 18, 2022

Dream Rooms is “a book about personal revolution, about unravelling a worldview to make space for different selves and realities.”




Imminent Domains: Reckoning with the Anthropocene by Alessandra Naccarato

Book*hug Press | October 25, 2022

This essay collection “invites readers to join a contemplation of survival—our own, and that of the elements that surround us.”





A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast by Dorthe Nors

Translated from the Danish by Caroline Waight

Graywolf Press | November 1, 2022

Nors’s first nonfiction book “chronicles a year she spent traveling along the North Sea coast—from Skagen at the northern tip of Denmark to the Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea.”




Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist by Marc Ribot

Akashic Books | November 1, 2022

Ribot “playfully interrogates our assumptions about music, life, and death” in these stories and essays.





Not Something We Discuss Often by Sarah Cedeño

Harbor Editions | November 4, 2022

According to Sarah Freligh, “Cedeño refuses to look away from the hard and inevitable truth and in doing so, she offers up instruction on how to live.”





Halfway from Home by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

Split/Lip Press | November 8, 2022

In these essays, Montgomery “excavates the stories and scars we bury, unearthing literal and metaphorical childhood time capsules and treasures.”




New Weathers: Poetics from the Naropa Archive

Nightboat Books | November 8, 2022

This collection of lectures, edited by Anne Waldman and Emma Gomis and transcribed from the audio archives of Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program, represents “a continuing lineage of experimental literary movements.”




Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic by Valerie Boyd

Lookout Books | November 15, 2022

Boyd’s essay collection “explores comfort and compromise, challenge and resilience, throughout the Great Pause that became the Great Call.”




Optic Subwoof by Douglas Kearney

Wave Books | November 15, 2022

A collection of talks that poet and National Book Award finalist Douglas Kearney presented for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series, Optic Subwoof offers “an urgent critique of the intersections between violence and entertainment.”




Mailer’s Last Days by J. Michael Lennon

Etruscan Press | November 15, 2022

These essays by Norman Mailer’s biographer “collect personal and literary reminiscences, insights, and investigations from the last half century.”




Zóbel Reads Lorca | Poetry, Painting, and Perlimplín In Love

Translated from the Spanish by Fernando Zóbel

Swan Isle Press | November 15, 2022

This collection includes Lorca’s “haunting play about the wounds of love” as well as contextual essays from several scholars.





Other Nonfiction


Shrapnel from a Writing Life by Ian Gouge

Coverstory books | January 1, 2022

Drawing from 37 years of Gouge’s notebooks, Shrapnel from a Writing Life is “neither fiction nor poetry, though it contains elements of both; nor is it strictly autobiographical, though it does present a partial life seen through a very particular lens.”




I Knew I Was a Rebel Then by Wendy Atkinson and David Lester

Bamboo Dart Press | January 18, 2022

Horde of Two’s I Knew I was a Rebel Then features a six-song CD and an accompanying chapbook, which includes “two intertwined stories on the nature of triumph, defeat and legacy.”




Masks: Stories from a Pandemic by Peter Cherches

Bamboo Dart Press | March 17, 2022

The 16 stories in this collection “capture the surreal experience of living through a global pandemic and all its attendant challenges—personal, political, and social.”




The Murders of Moisés Ville: The Rise and Fall of the Jerusalem of South America by Javier Sinay

Translated from Spanish by Robert Croll

Restless Books | March 29, 2022

Sinay investigates a series of murders from the nineteenth century, “unearthing the complex history and legacy of Moisés Ville, the ‘Jerusalem of South America,’ and his personal connection to a defining period of Jewish history in Argentina.”




The London Revolution 1640–1643: Class Struggles in 17th Century England by Michael Sturza

The Mad Duck Coalition | March 30, 2022

This book “chronicles England’s history through the revolution in 1641–1642, which toppled the feudal political system, and its aftermath.”




634 Ways to Kill Fidel by Fabián Escalante

Seven Stories Press | April 5, 2022

This book is a “sprawling account of the various, creative, often bizarre, yet incredibly disturbing attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro.”




Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System by M. Chris Fabricant

Akashic Books | April 5, 2022

In this book, Innocence Project attorney M. Chris Fabricant “presents an insider’s journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice and the role junk science plays in maintaining the status quo.”




Hebrew Myths by Robert Graves and Raphael Patai

Seven Stories Press | April 12, 2022

Hebrew Myths is “a scholarly approach to sixty-one stories from the book of Genesis, following in the lucid format of Graves’ canonical The Greek Myths.”




100 Years of the Los Angeles County Fair, 25 Years of Stories by David Allen

Pelekinesis | May 1, 2022

100 Years of the Los Angeles County Fair, 25 Years of Stories contains Allen’s writings about the fair from 1998 to 2021, including “columns, feature stories, concert reviews, previews of the fair, short items, a blog post, even a news story about a lawsuit.”




Neon South by Marko Pogačar

Translated from Croatian by Mirza Purić

Sandorf Passage | May 3, 2022

Neon South is “an off-the-beaten-path Latin American travel narrative that unfolds like a novel, shadowing locals all too aware of how outside influences, from colonialism to globalism, have changed their lives.”




Teachers in the Forest by Barry Babcock

Riverfeet Press | May 10, 2022

In this collection of lessons, Babcock “proposes a radical shift in how Americans support our environment and wildlife.”




The FVN Handbook

Nomadic Press | May 28, 2022

This handbook outlines the principles and practices of the Fierce Vulnerability Network, “a constellation of direct action teams positioned at the intersection of racial healing and climate justice.”




What You Won’t Do For Love: A Conversation by David Suzuki, Tara Cullis, Miriam Fernandes, and Ravi Jain

Coach House Books | June 7, 2022

What You Won’t Do for Love is “an inspiring conversation about love and the environment” among David Suzuki, Tara Cullis, Miriam Fernandes, and Ravi Jain.




No Document by Anwen Crawford

Transit Books | June 14, 2022

This “work of composition and collage” is “an exploration of loss in its many forms, embracing histories of protest and revolution, art-making and cinema, and border policing.”




Tania Bruguera: The Francis Effect

Deep Vellum | June 21, 2022

Edited by Noah Simblist, The Francis Effect “explores Tania Bruguera’s work as an artist, activist, and Cuban immigrant to the U.S. engaging the tension between art’s pragmatic, activist, and aesthetic possibilities.”




Most Dangerous, Most Unmerciful: Stories from Afghanistan by J. Malcolm Garcia

Seven Stories Press | July 5, 2022

This book of literary reporting, which includes new writing since the US pull-out in 2021, “shows the impact of years of occupation and war—and the sudden and harsh changes as new occupiers push in—on a people and their culture.”




Animal Joy: A Book of Laughter and Resuscitation by Nuar Alsadir

Graywolf Press | August 16, 2022

Alsadir’s prose debut is “an invigorating, continuously surprising book about the serious nature of laughter.”




Step  Up to Run by Myel Jenkins, Jackie Smith, Tara Sreekrishnan, Dionne Ybarra, and Delaine Eastin

Pact Press | September 1, 2022

This book features “personal accounts of five women from diverse backgrounds and communities across the state of California, who made the leap to run in 2018.”




Wilted Wings: A Hunter’s Fight for Eagles by Mike McTee

Riverfeet Press | September 6, 2022

In this book McTee, a hunter and wildlife researcher in Montana, “exposes a terrifying link between humans and eagles, while building the framework for how to safeguard these iconic raptors.”




O by Tammy Nguyen

Ugly Duckling Presse | September 15, 2022

Nguyen’s book is “a story without a center: an anti-allegory that finds its meaning in echoes and refracted light, a book stitched together by the O woven through the work as its visual spine and sonic refrain.”




Speaking Out: Families of LGBTQ+ Advance the Dialogue by Esther Schwartz-McKinzie

Gival Press | October 1, 2022

Speaking Out: Families of LGBTQ+ Advance the Dialogue is “an interview project inspired by the author’s daughter in the spirit of pushing back against current hateful anti-LGBTQ+ politics and trends.”




A Horse at Night: On Writing by Amina Cain

Dorothy, a publishing project | October 11, 2022

In Cain’s first nonfiction book, “a series of essayistic inquiries come together to form a sustained meditation on writers and their works, on the spaces of reading and writing fiction, and how these spaces take shape inside a life.”




Pantalla Parade by Laura Swart

Sea Crow Press | October 11, 2022

In Pantalla Parade, the Canadian journalist “records stories of ethnicity and diversity, belonging and isolation, faith, failure, life and philosophy, and what it all means.”





Cold Comfort by Christy Lorio

Belle Point Press | November 15, 2022

This collection of essays and photographs “offers a glimpse into one person’s ongoing experience with cancer: its physical ailments, its lingering effects.”




Texas Reporter, Texas Radical: The Writings of American Journalist Dick J. Reavis by Dick J. Reavis

Texas Review Press | November 28, 2022

This collection of Reavis’s writings, compiled and introduced by Michael Demson, “brings into focus the voice and political commitments of this critical, contemporary, Texas writer.”





Nonfiction Anthologies


Good Mom on Paper: Writers on Creativity and Motherhood

Book*hug Press | May 3, 2022

This collection of twenty essays, edited by Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee, “goes beyond the clichés to explore the fraught, beautiful, and complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity.”




Ways of Walking

New Door Books | May 12, 2022

Edited by Ann de Forest, Ways of Walking collects essays by 26 writers “who reflect on walks they have taken and what they have discovered along the way.”




On Becoming a Poet

Marsh Hawk Press | May 15, 2022

Edited by Susan Terris, this is “an innovative anthology of essential information about the development of the writing craft—memoirs and interviews of outstanding poets from diverse backgrounds who recall the ways by which they made their start as writers.”




Unbound: Composing Home

New Rivers Press | October 4, 2022

Edited by Nayt Rundquist, this essay anthology features 21 writers “on the concept of home and its polyvalent meanings.”





It Came from the Closet

Feminist Press | October 4, 2022

In this anthology edited by Joe Vallese, queer and trans writers consider the horror movies “that deepened, amplified, and illuminated their own experiences.”




What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings

Coach House Books | October 18, 2022

In this anthology edited by John Lorinc, “food writers, journalists, culinary historians, and musicians share histories of their culture’s version of the dumpling, family dumpling lore, interesting encounters with these little delights, and even recipes.”




Homeward: Personal Stories on the Search for Belonging

The Birren Center | November 1, 2022

The fifty personal essays in this anthology, edited by Emma Fulenwider, “offer vulnerable and unique insights on the universal search for belonging.”





Graphic Nonfiction


All Rise: Resistance and Rebellion in South Africa by Richard Conyngham

Catalyst Press | May 17, 2022

This graphic history, illustrated by Dada Khanyisa, “revives six true stories of resistance by marginalized South Africans against the country’s colonial government in the years leading up to Apartheid.”