The Rise of Celebrity Memoirs
By Brittany Holness, Bianca Scasserra, Holly Butterfield, Gemma Mathers and Maisie Clarke
Celebrity memoirs have been a trend for years. Audiences are drawn into the allure of getting a glimpse at the private lives of these celebrities, especially when there is promise of secretive pasts or scandals. These memoirs often give behind the scenes access to dating history, childhood experiences, family sagas and insider secrets that aim to satisfy the curiosity of eager readers. Even demonstrating the realities and struggles of fame that are so often overlooked by the public. There’s a real humanity to these stories that allows readers to relate to these stars that they have followed throughout their careers. In the past year there has been a surge in the number of memoirs that have been published and there are several recent releases that we can’t ignore.
Since its release, Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died has made waves, gaining immense popularity and praise over the last few months. The title served as an initial focal point for this book, however when it was further examined, there was profound insight within the pages that document the details of her harrowing journey of trauma, healing, and self-discovery. This book reached a wide audience ranging from bibliophiles to fans she had acquired while on popular Nickelodeon shows like iCarly. Her decision to step away from the limelight after years on various shows was shocking to many fans. She addressed this within her memoir, providing readers with a more detailed catalogue of the pressure and struggles she faced whilst in the entertainment industry, as well as how fame impacted her mental health. McCurdy offers an account of her experiences that was not only authentic but relatable and as a result can resonate with readers on a profound level.
In contrast to the aforementioned memoir, this next entry markets itself. A name irretrievably linked with glamour, pop culture and stardom, Paris Hilton’s release, Paris: The Memoir tracks her cosmic rise to eminence and how she cultivated her global empire. The narrative takes a courageous dive into the struggles Paris has encountered throughout her youth, offset with light sprouts of humour that further solidifies why she became a ubiquitous icon. After years of battling tabloids and the traumas of her past, she welcomes her readers to take an honest exertion into the true life behind the face with a myriad of identities. It is a deep-dyed departure from the preconceptions many held. Having said that, much of her life has been overshadowed by unfounded criticisms of her character which led many to believe that the memoir would ultimately fail to garner any attention. A surge of glowing ratings poured cold water on that notion and perfectly reflects this story’s graceful and empowering orientation. This memoir was written with self-awareness and nullifies all we thought we knew about the reality star.
In his debut novel Pageboy, Academy Award-nominated actor Elliot Page recounts his experience growing up as a rising star and a recognised household name, whilst going through the process of transitioning. Described in the New York Times as “brutally honest”, Page takes the reader on his journey navigating through fame, gender, mental health and his experiences in Hollywood. Since his transition in 2020, Elliot Page has taken the world by storm as the first openly Trans man to appear on the cover of Time Magazine and a rigorous advocate for Trans rights all over the world. Pageboy is an enlightening read focusing on the intimate details of his life with heart-felt important discussions on gender, relationships and a behind the scenes look into his mental health pre- and post-transition. Page’s memoir was a highly anticipated read of 2023 due to his fame pre-transition. With the battle for Trans rights being so prominent in current news, this memoir creates an open and honest conversation about what it means to be a Trans-person growing up in a world intent on keeping you hidden.
However, these are just a few of the recent releases. There are so many more that you will have seen on bookshop shelves, including Becoming by Michelle Obama, Spare by Prince Harry, Just Kids by Patti Smith, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry and Finding Me by Viola Davis. There are so many to sink your teeth into, each filled with a number of first-hand tales you’ve likely never heard before. With exciting new memoirs being announced all the time, including The Woman in Me by Britney Spears, it is likely that this is a trend we will continue to see over the coming years. With hundreds of options out there, there’s something for everyone and you may just discover a new favourite.