A B C DE F G H-IJ K L MN O P Q-RS T U-V WX-Y-Z  

North American Working Class Autobiographies

Compiled by Cheryl Cline


This bibliography includes works by authors in the U.S. and Canada. Most are book-length autobiographies, but some essay collections have been included. I have also included a few books by middle class authors who, for one reason or another, take up working class life for a time. These are generally recognizable by their titles; if not, I have noted them.

If you have any additions or suggestions, send them to payday@steamiron.com

 

A 


  Abbot, E.C. "Teddy Blue." [1860-1939] We Pointed Them North: Recollections of A Cowpuncher. With Helena Huntington Smith. Illustrated by Ross Santee, and photographs. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1939. 281pp. Reprinted, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955. 

Abbott, Shirley. The Bookmaker's Daughter: A Memory Unbound. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1991. 290pp. 
----------. Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1983. 210pp. 

Acosta, Oscar Zeta. The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo. With an introduction by Hunter S. Thompson. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books, 1972. Reprinted in paperback by Random House/Vintage 1989. 204pp. 

Adams, Andy. The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1903. [Fictional, but considered to be authentic and one of the best pictures of cowboy life] 

Ahern, Nell Giles. Punch In, Susie! A Woman's War Factory Diary. Drawings by Alan Dunn. New York and London: Harper Bros., 1943. 143pp. 

Allison, Dorothy. Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature. Ithaca:Firebrand Books, 1994. 261pp.

----------. Two or Three Things I Know For Sure. New: Dutton, 1995. 94pp. [Originally written for performance after the completion of her novel Bastard Out Of Carolina] 

Almirall, Leon Vincent [1884-?]. From College to Cow Country. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1956. 471p. [Cowboy] 

Anderson, Mary. Women At Work: The Autobiography of Mary Anderson. As told to Mary Winslow. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1951. 266pp. 

Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Random House, 1969. 281pp. 

----------. Gather Together In My Name. New York: Random House, 1974. 214pp. 

----------. Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas. New York: Random House, 1976. 269pp. 

----------. The Heart of A Woman. New York: Random House, 1981. 272pp. 

Anon. Four Years in the Underbrush: Adventures as a Working Girl in New York. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921. 315pp. 

Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987. [Poetry and autobiographical/political/theoretical essays on what it means to be Mexican-American, female, and lesbian.] 

 

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B 


. Baca, Jimmy Santiago. Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet of the Barrio. Santa Fe: Red Crane Books, 1992. 168pp. 

----------. A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet. New York: Grove Press, 2002. 272pp.

Baker, Russell. Growing Up. New York: Congdon & Weed/St. Martin's Press, 1982. Reprinted in paperback by New American Library. 278pp. 

----------. The Good Times. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1989. 351pp. 

Baldwin, James. No Name in the Street. New York, Dial Press, 1972. 197pp.

Baraka, Imamu Amiri [1934-]. The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka. New York: Freundlich Books, dist. by Scribner, 1984 329pp. 

Barber, Olive. The Lady and the Lumberjack. Introduction by Stewart H. Holbrook. New York: Crowell, 1952. 

Bard, Floyd C. [1879-?]. Horse Wrangler: Sixty Years in the Saddle in Wyoming and Montana. As told to Agnes Wright Spring. 
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960. 296pp. 

Barker, Garry. Notes From A Native Son: Essays on the Appalachian Experience. University of Tennessee Press, 1995. 204pp.

Barnard, Evan G. [1865-?]. A Rider of the Cherokee Strip. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1936. 233p. [Cowboy] 

Barr, Roseanne. Roseanne: My Life As A Woman. New York: Harper & Row, 1989. 202pp. 

Best, Norman. A Celebration of Work. Edited and with an introduction by William G. Robbins. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990. 223pp. 

Beverly, Bob. Hobo of the Rangeland. Lovington, N.M.: 1940. 87pp. [Cowboy] 

Black, Jack. You Can't Win: The Autobiography of Jack Black. Boston: Macmillan, 1926. Reprinted, with a foreword by William S. Burroughs. New York: Amok Press, 1988. 394pp. Hobo. Burroughs based his novel Junky on Black's book. 

Blanchard, Louie [1872-1959]. The Lumberjack Frontier: The Life of a Logger in the Early Days on the Chippeway. Retold from the recollections of Louie Blanchard by Walker D. Wyman, with the assistance of Lee Prentice. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1969. 88pp. 

Blasingame, Ike [1884-?]. Dakota Cowboy: My Life in the Old Days. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1958. 317pp. 

Block, Max [1909- ]. Max The Butcher. By Max Block with Ron Kenner. Seacaucus, N.J.: Lyle Stuart, 1982. 320pp. [Labor autobiography: Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America] 

Bloor, Ella. We Are Many: An Autobiography. New York: International Publishers, 1940. 319pp. [Labor autobiography] 

Box-Car Bertha. Sister of the Road: The Autobiography of Box-Car Bertha. As told to Dr. Ben L. Reitman. Sheridan House, 1937. 314pp. Reprinted, New York: Harper & Row (Harper Colophon), 1975. 314pp. Reprinted with an introduction by Kathy Acker and an afterword by Roger Bruns, New York: AMOK Press, 1988. 285pp. 

Bragg, Rick. All Over But the Shoutin'. New York: Pantheon Books, 1997. 329pp.

-----------. Ava's man. New York.  Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. 259pp.

Brant, Beth. [Degonwadonti]. Mohawk Trail. Ithaca, N.Y: Firebrand, 1985. 

Brown, Claude [1937-]. Manchild in the Promised Land. New York: Macmillan, 1965. 415pp. 

Brown, Ed. On Shares: Ed Brown's Story. Jane Maguire. New York : Norton, 1975, 224pp.

Brown, Larry. On Fire: A Personal Account of Life and Death and Choices. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1994. 182pp. [Sketches from the novelist and short story writer's longtime work as a fireman in Oxford, Mississippi] 

Brophy, John. A Miner's Life: An Autobiography. Edited and supplemented by John O.P. Hall. Madison, Wis., 1964. 320pp. 

Bulosan, Carlos. America Is In the Heart: A Personal History. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1956. Reprinted, with an introduction by Carey McWilliams. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1973.

Burciaga, José Antonio. Drink Cultura: Chicanismo. Santa Barbara: Joshua Odell Editions, Capra Press, 1993. 145pp.

Burrow, Brunettie. Angels in White. San Antonio: Naylor, 1959. 132pp. [Nurse] 

----------. I Lay Down My Cap. San Antonio: Naylor, 1961. 96pp. [Nurse] 

Byrd, Russell Aaron [1904-]. Russ's Bus: Adventures of an American Bus Driver. Los Angeles: Wetzel Publishing Co., 1945. 200pp. Los Angeles: Pacific-Western Publishing Co., 1949. 215pp. 
 

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C 


. Caldwell, Taylor. On Growing Up Tough. [Place?] Devin-Adair Co., 1971. Paperback edition, New York: Fawcett- Crest, 1973. Popular author writes of growing up poor in upper New York state. Surprisingly virulent opinions on poor people, especially those who take any kind of charity. Most of the chapters were first printed in American Opinion; the book was also a selection of the Anti-Communist Book Club in 1971. 

Caudill, Rebecca. My Appalachia: A Reminiscence. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966. 90pp. 

Cavalleri, Rosa. The Life of an Italian Immigrant. Edited by Marie Hall Ets. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1970. 

Cherry, Mike [1934- ]. On High Steel: The Education of an Iron Worker. New York: Quadrangle Books, 1974. 206pp. 

Clark, Billy C. A Long Row To Hoe. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1960. 233pp. 

Cleaver, Eldridge. Soul On Ice. With an introduction by Maxwell Geismar. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968. 

Cochran, Jacqueline. The Stars At Noon. Boston: Little, Brown, 1954. 274pp. 

Coel, Margaret, as told by Sam Speas. Goin' Railroading: Two Generations of Colorado Stories. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1991. 180p. [Life stories of Sam Speas and his father Sam Speas Sr., taken down by his daughter, Margaret Coel.] 

Cohen, Lester. Mom and Pop: A Portrait. Philadelphia and New York: Chilton Books, 1963. 131pp. 

Cole, Lester. Hollywood Red: The Autobiography of Lester Cole. Palo Alto, CA: Ramparts Press, 1981. 448pp.

Coleman, John Royston [1921pp.]. Blue Collar Journal: A College President's Sabbatical. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1974. 252pp. 

Conboy, William J., 1888-. Teamster Life in San Francisco Before World War I. As told by William J. Conboy, of the Teamsters' Union, in answer to questions by Corinne L. Gilb for the University of California, Institute of Industrial Relations Oral History Project. Berkeley, 1957. 16 leaves. 

Cook, James H. [1857-19420. Longhorn Cowboy. Edited and with an introduction by Howard R. Driggs, and with drawings by Herbert Stoops. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1952. 241p. Reprinted, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984. 241pp. 

Cooper, J.M. Memoirs of a Long Distance Trucker. In Wheels of Time, Vol 13, No. 3 (May-June, 1992) 10-13. 

Cornett, Frank M. [1874-?]. Recollections of a Pioneer Cowboy (A True Story). Simi, Calif: F.M. Cornett, 1962. 31pp. 

Crews, Harry. Blood and Grits. New York: Harper & Row, 1979. 213pp. [Collection of essays] 

----------. A Childhood: The Biography of a Place. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. 171pp. 

Cuero, Delfina. The Autobiography of Delfina Cuero, a Diegueno Indian, as told to Florence C. Shipek. Los Angeles: Dawson's Book Shop, 1968. 67pp. 

Cunningham, Laura. Sleeping Arrangements. New York. Knopf, 1989. 195pp. 
 

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D 


  Davis, Alice Pauline. Bayou Boats. New York: New Voices Publishing Co., 1950. 143pp. [World War II work in Texas Shipyard] 

Davis, James J. The Iron Puddler: My Life in the Rolling Mills and What Came of It. Introduction by Joseph G. Cannon. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1922. 276pp. ["...the life story of James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor, written that his son might know the pit from which the father was digged."] 

Day, Dorothy. The Long Loneliness: An Autobiography. Introduction by Daniel Berrigan. New York: Harper & Row, 1952. 

Day, Helen Caldwell. Color, Ebony. New York:; Sheed and Ward, 1951. 182pp. 

DeCaro, Frank. A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir. New York: Viking, 1996. 219pp.

Dell, Floyd. Homecoming: An Autobiography. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1933. 368pp. 

Denby, Charles. Indignant Heart. By Matthew Ward. New York: New Books, 1952. 184pp. Reprinted as Indignant Heart: A Black Worker's Journal. Boston: South End Press, 1978. 295pp.; and as Indignant Heart: Testimony of a Black American Worker. London: Pluto Press, 1979. 295pp. 

DeForest, Elsie Davis. Out of My Cabin. Boston: Christopher, 1956. 186pp. [Depression narrative; Ozarks; religious] 

Dobie, J. Frank. My Rambles as East Texas Cowboy, Hunter, Fisherman, Tie-Cutter. By Solomon Alexander Wright. Illustrated by B.E. Lewis. Austin: Texas Folklore Society, 1942. 

Dodge, Helen Carmichael. My Childhood in the Canadian Wilderness. New York: Vantage, 1961. 77pp. [Daughter of lumberman; works as teacher, housekeeper] 

Douglass, Frederick . Life and times of Frederick Douglass. Written by himself. His early life as a slave, his escape from bondage, and his complete history to the present time, including his connection with the anti-slavery movement ... with and introduction by Mr. George L. Ruffin. Hartford : Park, 1881 516pp.

Durbin, Marina. Lima Beans and City Chicken: A Memoir of the Open Hearth. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1989. 172pp. [Largely an affectionate portrait of her father, a California steelworker] 
 

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E 


  East, Lorecia. The Boomers: The Autobiography of a Roughneck's Wife. Baton Rouge: Legacy Publishing Co., 1976. 63pp. 

Eighner, Lars. Travels With Lizbeth. London: Bloomsbury, 1994. 271pp. 

Engle, Ada M. It Happened at 1001. New York: Vantage Press, 1959. 80pp. [Ran a Philadelphia hardware store with her husband; portrait of working class community there] 

Ellis, Anne. The Life of an Ordinary Woman. With an introduction by Lucy Fitch Perkins. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1929. 300pp. Reprinted, New York, Arno Press, 1974. Reprinted with a forward by Elliott West. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1980. 300pp. 

----------. Plain Anne Ellis: More About the Life of An Ordinary Woman. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1931. 264pp. Reprinted, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984. 

----------. Sunshine Preferred: The Philosophy of an Ordinary Woman. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1934. 248pp. Reprinted, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984. 

Emerson, Irma Lee, with Jean Muir. The Woods Were Full of Men. New York: David McKay Co., 1963. 242pp. [The author takes a job as cook in a lumber camp; eventually marries a lumberjack.] 

Erickson, John R. [1943- ]. Panhandle Cowboy. With a foreword by Larry McMurty. Photos by Bill Ellzey. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1980. 213pp. 

Erwin, Carol. The Orderly Disorderly House. With Floyd Miller. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1960. 284pp. [Childhood poverty; runs away at 14 and lives several years as a hobo, winds up a Madam] 

Evert, Gertrude S. My 28 Years as an Army Nurse. New York: Exposition Press, 1959. 84pp. 
 

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F 


  Fast, Howard. Being Red. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1990. 370pp.

Ferris, Louanne [pseud.]. I'm Done Crying. As told to Beth Day. New York: M. Evans, 1969. 275pp. [Black woman; works as kitchen aide, nurses aide, and nurse in a ghetto hospital] 

Findlay, Gertrude. Tooth and Nail: The Story of a Daughter of the Depression. Wellington: A.H and A.W. Reed, 1974. 267pp. 

Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley. I Speak My Own Piece: Autobiography of 'The Rebel Girl'. New York: Masses and Mainstream, 1955. 

----------. The Rebel Girl: An Autobiography. My First Life (1906-1926). New York: International Publishers, 1973. 

----------. The Rebel Girl: The Autobiography of My First Life (1906-1926). 1955. New York: International Publishers, 1973. 

Foster, William Z. Pages from a Worker's Life. Edited and with an introduction by Arthur Zipser. New York: International Publishers, 1939. 

----------. More Pages from a Worker's Life. Edited and with an introduction by Arthur Zipser. New York: American Institute for Marxist Studies, 1979. 

Franklin, H. Bruce. Back Where You Came From: A Life in the Death of the Empire. New York: Harper's Magazine Press, 1975. 219pp. Political autobiography. [Son of labor/socialist activists] 

French, Emily. Emily, The Diary of a Hard-Worked Woman. Edited by Janet Lecompte. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987. 166pp. 
 

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G 


  Galarza, Ernesto. Barrio Boy. Notre Dame [ Ind. ] University of Notre Dame Press, 1971. 275pp.

Gatensbury, Steve. Once To Learn It: A Lightearted Account of a Fifty-Year Adventure in the B.C. Lumber Industry. Delta, B.C.: Sedge Publishing, 1989. 243pp. 

Gates, Henry Louis. Colored People: A Memoir. New York : Knopf, 1994. 216pp.

Gatzmeyer, George R. Night Must Come: The Autobiography of a Common Laborer. New York: Vantage Press, 1961. 

Gazaway, Rena. The Longest Mile. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969. 348pp. [Raised in Appalachia; returns as a social worker.] 

Gerken, Mabel. R. Ladies In Pants: A Home Front Diary. New York: Exposition Press, 1949. 96pp. [WWII Aircraft factory worker] 

Giles, Janice Holt. Forty Acres and No Mule. Second edition, with a new prologue by the author. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967. 239pp. 

Gilfillan, Harriet Woodbridge [Pseud.], 1909. I Went to Pit College. New York, Viking Press, 1934. 288pp. [Coal Miners, Pennsylvania] 

Gipson, Fred [1908-?]. Cowhand: The True Story of a Working Cowboy. New York: Harper, 1952. 216pp. 

Girdler, Tom Mercer. Boot Straps, the Autobiography of Tom M. Girdler. In collaboration with Boyden Sparkes. New York , Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943. 471pp.

Goddard, Donald. All Fall Down: One Man Against the Waterfront Mob. New York: New York Times Books, 1980. 

Golden, Marita. Migrations of the Heart: An Autobiography. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday/Anchor Press, 1983. 234pp. 

----------. Long Distance Life. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1989. 321pp. 

Goldman, Emma. Living My Life. 2 vols., 1931. New York: Dover, 1970. 

Gompers, Samuel. Seventy Years of Life and Labor. New York, 1925. 

Goodwin, Ruby Berkley. It's Good to Be Black. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1953. 256pp. [Daughter of coal miner; becomes a writer] 

Gornick, Vivian. Fierce Attachments: A Memoir. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 1987. 203pp.

Graham, Maury. Tales of the Iron Road : My Life as King of the Hobos. "Steam Train" Maury Graham and Robert J. Hemming. New York : Paragon House, 1990. 222pp.

Guffy, Ossie. Ossie: The Autobiography of a Black Woman. As told to Caryl Ledner. New York: W.W. Norton, 1971. 224pp. 

Guillory, "Queen" Ida. Cookin' With Queen Ida: "Bon Temps" Creole Recipes and Stories from the Queen of Zydeco Music. With Naomi Wise. Interviews by Michael Goodwin and Irene Namkung. Rocklin, Calif: Prima Publishing, 1990. 240pp. 
 

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H-I 


  Haizlip, Shirlee Taylor. The Sweeter the Juice. New York : Simon & Schuster, 1994. 271pp.

Ham, Raymond I. Horses and Saddles I Have Known. Greenacres, Wash.: R.L. Ham, 1987. 245pp. 

Hamper, Ben. Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line. Foreword by Michael Moore. New York: Warner Books, 1991. 234pp. [Acerbic tales of assembly line work in a GM auto assembly plant in Flint, Michigan. Hamper makes an appearance in Michael Moore's film Roger and Me.] 

Harris, Eddy L. South of Haunted Dreams: A Ride Through Slavery's Old Back Yard. New York : Simon & Schuster, 1993. 254pp.

Harris, Frank. My Reminiscences as a Cowboy. Illustrated by William Gropper. New York: C. Boni, 1930. 217pp. 

Hart, Elva Treviño. Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child. Tempe : Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingue, 1999. 236pp.

Hartsog, E.R. Hooky Cop Saga: Frustrations and Rewards of an Attendance Officer in Appalachia. Artwork by William F. Rexrode. Parsons, W.A.: McClain Printing, 1967. 132pp.

Hasanovitz, Elizabeth. One of Them: Chapters from a Passionate Autobiography. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1918. 33pp. 

Haslam, Gerald. Voices of a Place: Essays by Gerald Haslam. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Devil Mountain Press, 1986. 100pp. [Contains several autobiographical essays. Haslam is a California writer, the son of "Okies" who settled near Bakersfield. ] 

Haywood, William D, "Big Bill." Bill Haywood's Book: the Autobiography of William D. Haywood. New York , International Publishers, [c1929] 368pp.

Hewes, Laurence. Boxcar in the Sand. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957. 262pp. 

Hoffer, Eric. Working and Thinking On the Waterfront: A Journal, June 1958-May 1959. New York: Harper & Row, 1969. 180pp. [Journal written when Hoffer was writing The Ordeal of Change. Hoffer was a respected longshoreman/philosopher.] 

----------. Truth Imagined. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. 97pp. [Short autobiography--taken from interviews? Focuses on his early days as a migrant farmworker in the thirties and forties, and his self-education.] 

Hooks, Bell. Talking Back: Thinking Feminist/Thinking Black. Boston: South End Press, 1989. 184pp. [Essays on feminism, Black culture, and social change, with a few autobiographical essays. Hooks grew up working class in a small Kentucky town.] 

Hofvendahl, Russ. Hard on the Wind: The True Story of a Boy Who Went To Sea and Came Back a Man. New York: William Morrow Co., 1983. 

Hudson, Hosea.  The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: the Life and Times of a Black Radical. Edited by Nell Irvin Painter.  New York: Norton, 1994. 

Hughes, Langston [1902-1967]. The Big Sea: An Autobiography. New York and London: Alfred A. Knopf, 1940. 335pp. Reprints: New York: Hill and Wang, 1968. 335pp. London: Pluto Press, 1986. 335pp. 

----------. I Wonder As I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey. New York: Rinehart, 1956. 405pp. Reprints: New York: Hill and Wang, 1964. 405pp. New York: Octagon Books, 1974. 405pp. Reprinted with a foreword by Margaret Walker. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, Dist. by Persea Books, 1986. 405pp. 

Hugo, Richard. The Real West Marginal Way: A Poet's Autobiography. Edited by Ripley S. Hugo, Lois M. Welch and James Welch. With an introduction by William Matthews. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 1986. 261pp. [Autobiographical essays, each one about one or a group of Hugo's poems.] 

Hurston, Zora Neale. Dust Tracks On A Road. Boston: J.B. Lippincott, 1942. 292pp. Reprinted with an introduction by Larry Neal, J.B. Lippincott, 1971. 286pp. New edition, edited and with an introduction by Robert Hemenway. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971, 1984. Reprinted with a new foreword by Maya Angelou, Harper/Perennial, 1991. 278pp. 

Husband, Joseph. A Year in a Coal Mine. Houghton Mifflin, 1911. Reprinted, New York: Arno Press, 1977. 

Huttman, Barbara. Code Blue: A Nurse's True Life Story. New York: Morrow, 1982. 280pp. 
 

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   Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Written by Herself.... Edited by L. Maria Child. Boston, Published for the author, 1861. Reprinted witha in introduction by Valerie Smith, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. 306 pp. New edition edited and with an introduction by Jean Fagan Yellin, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987. 306pp. 

Jackson, Nannie Stillwell. Vinegar Pie and Chicken Bread: A Woman's Diary of Life in the Rural South, 1890-1891. Edited, with an introduction by Margaret Jones Bolsterli. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1982. 108pp. 

James, W.S. Cow-Boy Life in Texas: Twenty Seven Years a Maverick. Chicago: M.A. Donohue & Co., 1893. [Wrote his memoirs after he had turned frontier preacher] 

Jiménez, Francisco. The Circuit: Stories From the Life of a Migrant Child. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 1997. 134pp. Reprinted, Boston : Houghlin Mifflin Company, 1999,  116pp.

Johnston, Bill [1908-]. Coal Dust in My Blood: The Autobiography of a Coal Miner. Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1980. 159pp. 

Jordan, June. Soldier: A Poet's Childhood. New York : Basic Civitas Books, 2000. 261pp.

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  K
    Karr, Mary. The Liar's Club: A Memoir. New York: Viking Penguin, 1995. 320pp. 

-----------. Cherry: A Memoir. New York : Viking, 2000. 276pp.

Kazin, Alfred. A Walker in the City. Drawings by Marvin Bileck. New York : Grove Press, 1951. 176pp.

----------. New York Jew. New York , Alfred A. Knopf, 1978. 307pp.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. Woman Warrior. New York: Knopf, 1976. 

----------. China Men. New York: Knopf, 1980. 

Krueger, Starry. The Whole Works: The Autobiography of a Young American Couple. New York: Random House, 1973. [Based on interviews with an anonymous working class couple] 

Kunkler, Anita. Hardscrabble: A Narrative of the California Hill Country. Edited, with commentaries and notes, by Wilbur S. Shepperson. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1975. 252pp. 
 

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L 


  L'Amour, Louis. Education of a Wandering Man. Introduction by Daniel J. Boorstin. Bantam Books, 1989 (hardcover). Paperback edition: Bantam, 1990. 258pp. 

Larcom, Lucy. A New England Girlhood. 1889. New York: Arno Press, 1974. 

----------. Letters of Lucy Larcom to the Whittiers. Edited by Grace F. Shepard. Baltimore: The Southworth Press, 1930. 20pp. Reprinted from the New England Quarterly 3:3 (1930). 

----------. Lucy Larcom: Her Life, Letters and Diary. Daniel Dulany Addison. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., and Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1894. 295pp. 

LaVelle, Michael. Red, White, and Blue Collar Views: A Steelworker Speaks His Mind About America. New York: Saturday Review Press/Dutton, 1975. [Partly autobiographical newspaper-column writing] 

Le Sueur, Meridel. Ripening: Selected Work. Edited and with an introduction by Elaine Hedges, and a new afterword by Meridel Le Sueur. New York: Feminist Press, 1982. Second Edition, 1990. 295pp. 

Levine, Philip. The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. 296pp. [California poet] 

Lidz, Franz. Unstrung Heroes: My Improbable Life with Four Impossible Uncles. New York : Random House, 1991. 194pp.

Llewellyn, James. Against All Odds: A True Story. Stockton: J-Y Enterprises, 1983. 204pp. 

Lobas, Vladimir [1937-]. Taxi From Hell: Confessions of a Russian Hack. Translated from the Russian by Tamara Glenny. New York: Soho Press, 1991. 288p. First published in Russian in 1990 by the New York Russian daily Novo Russkoe Slavo. [Immigrant taxi driver in New York city] 

Lorde, Audre. The Cancer Journals. Argyle, N.Y.: Spinster's Ink, 1980. 77pp. 

----------. Zami, A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography by Audre Lorde. Freedom, Calif.: Crossing Press, 1982. 256pp. 

Lucas, Maria Elena. Forged Under the Sun / Forjada Bajo el Sol: The Life of Maria Elena Lucas. Edited and with an introduction by Fran Leeper Buss. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993. 314pp. [Labor autobiography - United Farm Workers] 

Lynn, Loretta. Coal Miner's Daughter. Chicago: Regnery, 1976. 269pp. Reprinted New York: Warner Books, 1980. 269pp. 

Lynch, Gerald, [1930-]. Roughnecks, Drillers and Tool Pushers: Thirty Three Years in the Oil Fields. Introduction by Bobby Weaver. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987. 262pp. 
 

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M 


 

MacKay, Malcolm. Cow Range and Hunting Trail. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1925. 

Mangione, Jerre Gerlando. Mount Allegro . Illustrated by Peggy Bacon. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1942. 292pp.

Maresca, James V. My Flag is Down: The Diary of a New York Taxi Driver. New York: E.P. Dutton 1948. 188pp. 

Mario, Thomas. The Face in the Aspic; Tales of Club Life Among the Overfed. New York , Simon and Schuster, 1944. 194pp.

Marshall, Oscar Seth [1870-1953]. Journeyman Machinist En Route to the Stars: Stellafane to Palomar. The autobiography of Oscar Seth Marshall. Edited by Eva Marshall Douglas. Taunton, Mass.: S. Sullwold Publishers, 1979. 156pp. 

Mason, Bobbie Ann. Clear Springs: A Memoir. New York : Random House, 1999. 298pp.

Mason, Harry Morgan. Life on the Dry Line: Working the Land, 1902-1944. Foreword by Wes Jackson. Golden, Colo. : Fulcrum Pub., 1992. 197pp.

McCauley, James Emmit. A Stove-Up Cowboy's Story. Austin and Dallas: Texas Folklore Society and Southern Methodist University Press, 1943. 

McConnell, Roberta. Never Marry A Ranger. New York: Prentice-Hall, 11950. 261pp. 

McCourry, Donald L. Us Poor Folks and the Things of Dog Flat Hollow. Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair, Publisher, 1975. 

McDonald, Brian. My Father's Gun: One Family, Three Badges, One Hundred Years in the NYPD. New York : Dutton, 1999. 309pp.

McDonald, Janet. Project Girl. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. 231pp.

Mead, Arble. The Long Tunnel: A Coal Miner's Journal. New York: Athenaeum, 1976. 

Meader, Stephen Warren [1898-]. Lumberjack. Illustrated by Henry C. Pitz. New York: Harcourt Brace, & Co., 1934. 271pp. [?] 

Mers, Gilbert. Working the Waterfront: The Ups and Downs of a Rebel Longshoreman. With an introduction by George N. Green, and an appreciation by Eugene Nelson. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1988. 274pp. 

Mitchell, Dorothea. Lady Lumberjack. Vancouver: Mitchell Press, 1967. 135pp. 

McGarvey, Lois. Along Alaska Trails. New York: Vantage Press, 1960. 200pp. 

McKain, David. Spellbound: Growing Up In God's Country. University of George Press, 19988. Paperback edition, New York: Touchstone Press, 1990. 257pp. 

Moody, Ann. Coming of Age in Mississippi. New York: The Dial Press, 1968. 348pp. 

Moody, Ralph. Horse of a Different Color: Reminiscenses [sic] of a Kansas Drover. New York , Norton [1968]. 272 Reprint: Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1994. 272pp.

Moon, Gypsy. Done and Been: Steel Rail Chronicles of American Hobos. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1996. 197pp.

Mooney, Fred. Struggle in the Coal Fields: An Autobiography of Fred Mooney. Edited by J.W. Hess. Morgantown: West Virginia University Library, 1967. 194pp. 

Mora, Pat. House of Houses. Boston : Beacon Press, 1997. 296pp.

Morales, Aurora Levins and Rosario Morales. Getting Home Alive. Ithaca , N.Y. : Firebrand Books, 1986. 213pp.

Morgan, Dan. Rising in the West: The True Story of an "Okie" Family from the Great Depression through the Reagan Years. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. 532pp.

Mother Jones. The Autobiography of Mother Jones. Edited by Mary Field Parton. Introduction by Clarence Darrow. Chicago: C.H. Kerr, 1925. 245pp. Reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1969. Reprinted with an introduction and bibliography by Fred Thompson, Chicago: Published for the Illinois Labor History Society by C.H. Kerr Publishing Company, 1972. 242pp. 

----------. Mother Jones Speaks: Collected Writings and Speeches. Edited by Philip S. Foner. New York: Monad Press (distributed by Pathfinder Press), 1983. 724pp. 

Mulzac, Hugh [1886-]. A Star to Steer By. As told to Louis Burnham and Norval Welch. New York: International Publishers, 1963. 251pp.

Murray, Pauli. Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family. New York: Harper, 1956. 276pp. 

Murray, Tom. Waterfront Supercargo. San Pedro, Calif.: Singlejack Books, 1980. [A Singlejack Little Book; work as a California longeshoreman.] 
 

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    Nelligan, John Emmett [1852-]. The Life of a Lumberman. By John Emmett Nelligan, as told to Charles Sheridan. No Place: [The Author?], 1929. 202pp. 

Nestor, Agnes. Woman's Labor Leader: An Autobiography. Rockford, Ill.: Bellevue Books, 1954. 307pp. 

Nieman, Linda. Boomer: Railroad Memoirs. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. 252pp. [Middle class lesbian professor at UC Santa Cruz takes a job with the railroad] 

Nordan, Lewis. Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir. Chapel Hill , N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill , 2000. 290pp.

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  0
  O'Connor, Harvey [1897-1987]. Revolution in Seattle: A Memoir. New York, 1964. 300pp. 

O'Connor, Harvey [1897-1987] and Jessie Lloyd [1904-]. Harvey and Jessie: A Couple of Radicals. Jessie Lloyd O'Connor, Harvey O'Connor, and Susan M. Bowler. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988. 259pp. 

Offutt, Chris. The Same River Twice: A Memoir. New York : Simon & Schuster, 1993. 188pp.

----------. No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2002. 268pp.

Ortiz, Roxanne Dunbar. Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie. London and New York : Verso, 1997. 224pp.

----------. Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960-1975. San Francisco : City Lights Books, 2001, 411pp.

Otis, James. An Amateur Fireman. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1898. 324pp. [?] 

Owens, William A. This Stubborn Soil: A Frontier Boyhood. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1966. Reprinted with an introduction by John Graves. New York: Nick Lyons Books, 1986. 307pp. 
 

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P 


. Padow, Mollie Potter. A Saga of Eighty Years of Living. Philadelphia: Dorrance, 1971. 228pp. 

Page, Linda Garland, and Eliot Wigginton, eds. Aunt Arie: A Foxfire Portrait. New York: E.P. Dutton Co., 1983. 216pp. [Arie Carpenter, 1885-1978] 

Parker, Sybil Rosa. Working Stewardess to Captain's Lady: My Life on the Luxury Liners. Los Alamitos, Calif.: Hwong Publishing Co., 1979. 195pp. 

Pejovich, Ted. The State of California: Growing Up Foreign in the Backyards of Eden. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. 180pp.

Pellegrini, Angelo M. American Dream: An Immigrant's Quest. San Francisco : North Point Press, 1986. 214pp.

Perez, Ramon (Tianguis). Diary of an Undocumented Immigrant. Ramon "Tianguis" Perez. Translated by Dick J. Reavis. Houston: Arte Publico Pres, 1991. 237pp. [?] 

Pesotta, Rose [1896-]. Bread Upon the Waters. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1945. 435pp. 

----------. Bread Upon the Waters. Edited by John Nicholas Beffel. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1944. Reprinted with a new introduction by Ann Schofield, Ithaca: ILR Press, 1987. 

----------. Days of Our Lives. Boston: Excelsior, 1958. 262pp. 

Peters, Robert. Crunching Gravel: Growing Up in the Thirties. San Francisco: Mercury House, 1988. 122pp. 

Petty, Richard. Grand National: The Autobiography of Richard Petty. As told to Bill Neely. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1971. 212pp. Stock-car racer, whose father also raced. Lots of funny lines: "I had about as normal a childhood as any kid growing up in the South in a converted construction trailer." 

Pickens, William. Bursting Bonds: The Autobiography of a "New Negro." Edited by William L. Andrews. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991. 76pp. 

Pinzer, Maimie. The Maimie Papers. Edited by Ruth Rosen and Sue Davidson. Old Westbury, N.Y.: Feminist Press, 1981. [Letters between a Jewish New York prostitute, who later pioneered peer group counseling for prostitutes, and an upperclass social reformer. 

Polacheck, Hilda Satt. I Came a Stranger: the Story of a Hull-House Girl. Edited by Dena J. Polacheck Epstein. With an introduction by Lynn Y. Weiner. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1989. 248pp. Reprint, Illini books edition, Urbana : University of Illinois Press , 1991. 248pp.
 

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Q-R 


  Quinn, Mike. On the Drumhead: A Selection from the Writing of Mike Quinn. A Memorial volume edited, with a biographical sketch, by Harry Carlisle. San Francisco: The Pacific Publishing Foundation, Inc., Publishers of the Daily People's World, 1948. 244pp. [Labor autobiography] 

Reed, Frank A. Lumberjack Sky Pilot. Old Forge, N.Y.: North Country Books, 1965. 155pp. 

Rice, Clyde. A Heaven in the Eye. New York, Avon Books, 1984. 350pp. 

Richardson, Dorothy. The Long Day: The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself. New York: The Century Company. 1905. 303pp. Reprinted in Women At Work, edited by William L. O'Neill. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1972. 

Ritchie, Jean. Singing Family of the Cumberlands. Including words and music for 42 songs. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak. New York: Oak Publications, 1963. Reprint of 1955 edition. 258pp. 

Rintoul, William. Spudding In: Recollection of Pioneer Days in the California Oil Fields. San Francisco: San Francisco Historical Society, 1976. 240pp. 

Rodriguez, Luis J. Always Running / La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993. Paperback edition, New York: Touchstone Press, 1994. 260pp. 

Rodriguez, Rosalie. Oh! For the Life of a Stewardess. New York: Comet Press, 1953. 123pp. [Stewardess on a cruise ship] 

Rodriguez, Richard. The Hunger of Memory. Boston: David Godine, 1982. 195pp. 

----------. Days Of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father. New York: Viking, 1992. 230pp. 

Rubin, Charles R. The Log of Rubin the Sailor. New York: International Publishers, 1973. 358pp. [National Maritime Union of America] 

Ruby, Edna R. Shorthand with Champagne. Cleveland: World, 1965. 246pp. [Public stenographer at a Beverly Hills hotel] 

Rutland, Eva. The Trouble with Being a Mama. New York: Abingdon, 1964. 143pp. [Black woman's account of growing up poor during the depression] 
 

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  Salas, Floyd. Buffalo Nickel. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1992. 347pp.

Sams, Jessie Bennett. White Mother. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1957. 241pp. [Two poor black girls are taken under the wing of a white woman] 

Scarborough, Mary Grossman [1895-]. Whirlwinds of Danger: The Memoirs of Mary Grossman Scarborough. With a foreword by William McAdoo. New York: David Walker Press, 1990. 187pp. [Labor activist]. 

Schneiderman, Rose (with Lucy Goldwaite). All For One. New York: Paul S. Ericksson, 1967. 264pp. [Labor Organizer] 

Schrank, Robert. Ten Thousand Working Days. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1978. 243pp. [The author describes his lifetime of work, from his first job in a furniture factory, to his present as a professor of sociology] 

Scribner, Tom. Lumberjack. Davenport, Calif.: Redwood Ripsaw, 1966. 64 leaves. 

Seeger, Pete. The Incompleat Folksinger. New York, 1972. 

Seider, Maynard. A Year in the Life of a Factory. San Pedro, Calif.: Singlejack Books, 1984. [Union organizing and the fight against factory shut-downs] 

Shore, Evelyn Berglund. Born on Snowshoes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 154. 209pp. 

Siringo, Charles A. A Texas Cowboy; or, Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Cow Pony. Chicago: M. Umbdenstock, 1885. [One of the first in the field -- Cowboy Reader] 

Sinclair, Jo. The Seasons: Death and Transfiguration. New York: The Feminist Press, 1993. 279pp. 

Soto, Gary. Small Faces. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1986. 26pp. [Autobiographical essays by California Mexican-American poet, essayist and children's author] 

----------. A Summer Life. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1990. 115pp. 

----------. Living Up the Street. San Francisco: Strawberry Hill Press, 1985. 159pp. 

Stabler, Ken. Snake. With Berry Stainback. Garden City, New York: Doubelday & Co., 1986. 244pp. Football player, for the Oakland Raiders. 

Strainchamps, Ethel Reed. Don't Never Say Cain't. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1965. 168pp. 

Stewart, Elinore Pruitt. Letters of a Woman Homesteader. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1914. 281pp. Reprinted with a foreword by Jessamyn West, Lincoln, Nebr.: University of Nebraska Press, 1961. 282pp. [Letters from a woman homesteading in Wyoming, to her former employer in Detroit, for whom she had worked as a housekeeper. The film Heartland was based on this book.] 

Stokes, Rose Pastor. I Belong to the Working Class: The Unfinished Autobiography of Rose Pastor Stokes. Edited by Herbert Shapiro and David L. Sterling. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992. 173pp. 
 

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T 


    Tam, Augusta. By Dim and Flaring Lamps. Transcribed by Katherine Boies McCallen. New York: Vantage Press, 1964. 143pp. [Raised in Cumberlands, becomes a nurse] 

Terkel, Studs. Talking To Myself: A Memoir of My Times. New York: Pantheon Books, 1977. 337pp. [Acclaimed interviewer and author of Working, American Dreams: Lost and Found, The Great Divide, and Race turns the tape recorder on himself] 

Terrell, Mary Church [1863-1954]. A Colored Woman in a White World. Washington, D.C.: Ransdell, 1940. 436pp. Reprints: Washington, D.C.: National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1968, 545pp. New York: Arno Press, 1980. 436pp. Salem, N.H.: Ayer, 1986. 436pp. 

Theriault, Reg. Longshoring on the San Francisco Waterfront. San Pedro, Calif.: Singlejack Books, 1978. [A Singlejack Little Book] 

Turner, Steve. Night Shift in a Pickle Factory. San Pedro, Calif.: Singlejack Books, 1980. [A Singlejack Little Book] 

Tulin, Roger. A Machinist's Semi-Automated Life. San Pedro, Calif.: Singlejack Books, 1984. 

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  U-V
  Upton, Joe. Alaska Blues: A Fisherman's Journal. Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Publishing Co., 1977. 236pp. 

Vergara, Joe. Love and Pasta: A Recollection. Illustrations by Seymour Chwast. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. 184pp. 

Van Vorst, Mrs. John, and Marie Van Vorst. The Woman Who Toils. Being the Experience of Two Gentlewomen as Factory Girls. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1903. 303pp. [Bessie McGinnis Van Vorst, 1878-1928 and Marie Van Vorst, 1867-1936] 

Vecsey, George. One Sunset a Week: The Story of a Coal Miner. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1974. 274pp. [Haven't seen this one; Vecsey co-wrote Loretta Lynn's book and others. He may not be the coal miner] 

Villasenor, Victor. Rain of Gold. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1991. 551p. 

----------. Wild steps of Heaven. New York: Delacorte Press, 1996. 296p. 

----------. Walking Stars: Stories of Magic and Power. Houston: Piñata Books, 1994. 202p. [For young adults] 

Vorse, Mary Heaton [1873?-1966]. Footnote to Folly: Reminiscences of Mary Heaton Vorse. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. 407pp. Reprinted, Arno Press, 1980. 407pp. 

----------. Rebel Pen: The Writings of Mary Heaton Vorse. Edited by Dee Garrison. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1985. 345pp. 

----------. The Autobiography of an Elderly Woman. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1911. 269pp. Reprinted, New York: Arno Press, 1974. 269pp. 
 

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W 


  Walker, Alice. In Search of Our Mother's Gardens: Womanist Prose. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983. 397pp. 

Walker, Charles Rumford. Steel: The Diary of a Furnace Worker. Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922. 157pp. 

Walker, Margaret. How I Wrote Jubilee. Chicago: Third World Press, 1972. 36pp. Reprinted in How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature. New York: The Feminist Press, 1990. 157p. 

Walker, Mark. Maine Roots: Growing Up Poor in the Kennebec Valley. Camden: Picton Press, 1994. 178pp. 

Waterman, Sherry. From Another Island: Adventures and Misadventures of an Airline Stewardess. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1962. 206pp. 

Weisbord, Vera Buch [1895-]. A Radical Life. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1977. 384pp. 

Wickware, Potter. Crazy Money: Nine Months on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. New York: Random House, 1979. 228pp. 

Wideman, John Edgar [1950-]. Brothers and Keepers. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1984. New York, etc.: Penguin Books, 1985. 243pp. 

Williams, James H. [1864-1927]. Blow the Man Down! A Yankee Seaman's Adventure under Sail. An autobiographical narrative based upon the writings of James H. Williams as arranged and edited by Warren F. Kuehl. New York: Dutton, 1959. 

Williamson, Anne A. Fifty Years in Starch. Culver City, Calif.: Murray & Gee, 1948. 245p. [Nurse] 

Wilsey, Roy E. [1889-]. Hillbilly Boy: An Autobiography. Illustrated by Ann Hunt. [Self-published?], 1969. 40p. 

Wolff, Tobias. This Boy's Life: A Memoir. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989. 288pp. 

Wren, Daniel. White Collar Hobo: The Travels of Whiting Williams. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1987. 165pp. 

Wright, Richard [1908-1960]. Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth. New York and London: Harper Bros., 1945. 228pp. 

----------. American Hunger. With an afterword by Michel Fabre. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. 146pp. [Continuation of Black Boy; Wright originally wrote the two books as one.] 
 

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    X, Malcolm [1925-1965]. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. With the assistance of Alex Haley. Introduction by M.S. Handler. Epilogue by Alex Haley. New York: Grove Press, 1965. 455pp. Reprinted: New York: Ballantine, 1963, 1988. 460pp. 

Yamaguchi, Wakato. Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, Plays and Memoir. New York: The Feminist Press, 1994. 257pp. 

Yoneda, Karl G. Ganbatte: Sixty-Year Struggle of a Kibei Worker. Introduction by Yuji Ichioka. Los Angeles: Resource Development and Publications, Asian American Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles, 1983. 244pp.