In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Annual Bibliography of Works about Life Writing, 2012–2013
  • Phyllis E. Wachter (bio) and Aiko Yamashiro (bio)

Madiba, the name of an old chief of the Thembu tribe to which Mandela belonged, is both an honorific and a term of endearment.

—Alexander Wolff

We are all bound together by these fibrils of lineage, each family its own, but each also interconnected with all humanity. We understand ourselves better seeing this.

—Joe Mozingo

We’re all stories in the end.

—From “Dr. Who” (transporting us back to 1963, fifty life years ago)

But our own past is not the only place from which our life story comes. The memories are our own, but what they mean and how we put them together come from the lives we see around us, from the stories we read and hear, and from whatever possibilities we can imagine.

—Frank Bures
Phyllis E. Wachter

Phyllis Wachter, compiler of Biography’s annual bibliography for over twenty years, continues to teach and conduct life writing research.

Aiko Yamashiro

Aiko Yamashiro is a poet, PhD student in English at the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa, and instructor of de/anticolonial literature of Hawai‘i. She is coeditor of The Value of Hawai‘i 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions (with Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, U of Hawai‘i P, 2014).


Abrahamson, Eric John. Building Home: Howard F. Ahmanson and the Politics of the American Dream. Berkeley: U of California P, 2013.

Uses a biography of Ahmanson to chart the evolution of mortgage finance as a critical element of the US political economy and sociopolitical environment.

Adam, Wolfgang. Verspätete Ankunft: Montaignes Journal de voyage in 18. Jahrhundert: Rezeption eines frühneuzeitlichen Textes. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012.

Shows how eighteenth century French and Italian translations refigure Montaigne’s travel narrative to convey layered, cultural discourses of the late 1700s. [End Page 704]

Adler, Nanci. Keeping Faith with the Party: Communist Believers Return from the Gulag. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2012.

Analyzes oral histories, unpublished memoirs, and archival materials relating to returnees from the gulag who remained committed to the CPSU and the Communist project.

Ahrens, Prue, Lamont Lindstrom, and Fiona Paisley. Across the World with the Johnsons: Visual Culture and American Empire in the Twentieth Century. Burlington: Ashgate, 2013.

Examines how during the interwar period Osa and Martin Johnson used new forms of visual culture and celebrity to present a vision of US engagement with the world.

Ames, Eric. Ferocious Reality: Documentary according to Werner Herzog. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012.

Analysis in terms of performance argues that Herzog dismisses documentary as a mode of filmmaking to engage in it more creatively.

Amin, Abbas. Ägyptomanie und Orientalismus: Ägypten in der deutschen Reiseliteratur (1175–1663). Mit einem kommentierten Verzeichnis der Reiseberichte (383–1845). Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013.

Traces the changing representation of Egypt in German travelogs from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries.

Bar, Shaul. God’s First King: The Story of Saul. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2013.

Compares constructions of Saul as a classic tragic hero in the Book of Samuel to largely negative portrayals in other Hebrew scriptures.

Barnes, Diana G. Epistolary Community in Print, 1580–1664. Burlington: Ashgate, 2013.

Using letters by Gabriel Harvey, Edmund Spenser, Angel Day, Michael Drayton, Jacques du Bosque, and Margaret Cavendish, offers a genealogy of the epistolary tradition in early modern England.

Bartlett, Robert. Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2013.

Tracks the evolving roles of Christian saints’ lives from the second to the sixteenth centuries.

Baum, Constanze. Ruinenlandschaften: Spielräume der Einbildungskraft in Reiseliteratur und bildkünstlerischen Werken über Italien im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012.

Examines the impact of Roman and antique ruins in Italy on European travel literature and visual art of the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Bergman, Teresa. Exhibiting Patriotism: Creating and Contesting Interpretations of American Historic Sites. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast, 2013.

Analyzes exhibits, interpretive materials, and orientation films to show...