The Best of Graphic Memoirs

By Kat La Mantia | September 20 2022 | GeneralGraphic Novels

The graphic form can do so much to enhance the art of storytelling, and when applied to memoir–an inherently personal and intimate form of narrative–it can offer another medium through which to view the author’s emotions and memories. From historical narratives to re-imagined childhoods to sagas of depression and self-discovery, there’s a rich world of graphic memoir to delve into. Below are some of our top picks in the genre, but feel free to browse the category on PRH Comics to find a favorite of your own.

It Won't Always Be Like This
A Graphic Memoir
978-1-9848-6029-3
An intimate graphic memoir about an American girl growing up with her Egyptian father's new family, forging unexpected bonds and navigating adolescence in an unfamiliar country—from the award-winning author of I Was Their American Dream.
$19.99 US
Sep 20, 2022
Paperback
224 Pages
Ten Speed Press

Kisses For Jet
A Coming-of-Gender Story
978-1-913123-03-1
A striking and emotive graphic novel from debut trans creator, Joris Bas Backer about coming to terms with his gender before the age of the internet. For fans of Gender Queer and The Black Flamingo.
$19.99 US
May 03, 2022
Paperback
208 Pages
Nobrow
Age 14 and up

Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band
978-1-68405-714-6
Experience the riveting, powerful story of the Native American civil rights movement and the resulting struggle for identity told through the high-flying career of West Coast rock 'n' roll pioneers Redbone.
$19.99 US
Oct 27, 2020
Paperback
160 Pages
IDW Publishing

Secret Passages
978-1-60309-499-3
Welcome to an autobiography from another dimension. A wildly inventive cartoonist begins her imaginary memoir -- exploring the girlhood she never had.
$19.99 US
Mar 22, 2022
Paperback
184 Pages
Top Shelf Productions

Autobiographix (Second Edition)
978-1-5067-1684-8
A premium collection demonstrating the effectiveness of the comics medium for telling the most personal of stories--the autobiography.
$24.99 US
Apr 27, 2021
Hardcover
96 Pages
Dark Horse Books

Parenthesis
978-1-60309-481-8
A triumph of graphic memoir, Parenthesis narrates the author's experience with tumor-related epilepsy--losing herself, and finding herself again.
$19.99 US
Feb 09, 2021
Paperback
224 Pages
Top Shelf Productions

March: Book One (Oversized Edition)
978-1-60309-383-5
The groundbreaking graphic-novel memoir by a living legend of the civil rights movement, March: Book One, is now available in an oversized hardcover edition. Created by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, this #1 New York Times bestseller is also a Coretta Scott King Honor book, a required text in classrooms across America, and the first graphic novel to win a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Now this modern classic — praised by everyone from President Bill Clinton to LeVar Burton to Tim Cook — gets the deluxe, oversized hardcover treatment, so the stunning work of Lewis, Aydin, and Powell can be appreciated on a grander scale.March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award — Special Recognition#1 New York Times Bestseller#1 Washington Post BestsellerA Coretta Scott King Honor BookAn ALA Notable BookOne of YALSA's Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for TeensOne of YALSA's Top 10 Popular Paperbacks for Young AdultsOne of YALSA's Outstanding Books for the College BoundOne of Reader's Digest's Graphic Novels Every Grown-Up Should ReadEndorsed by NYC Public Schools' "NYC Reads 365" programSelected for first-year reading programs by Michigan State University, Marquette University, and Georgia State UniversityNominated for three Will Eisner AwardsNominated for the Glyph AwardNamed one of the best books of 2013 by USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book, Paste, Slate, ComicsAlliance, Amazon, and Apple iBooks.
$29.99 US
Mar 22, 2016
Hardcover
128 Pages
Top Shelf Productions

Feelings
A Story in Seasons
978-0-593-12975-3
A gorgeous visual journey through one young woman's year of emotions--from the saturated highs of early summer to the grey isolation of late winter.
$21.99 US
Mar 02, 2021
Hardcover
144 Pages
Random House

Good Talk
A Memoir in Conversations
978-0-399-58906-5
A bold, wry, and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial family, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing.
$20.00 US
Mar 24, 2020
Paperback
368 Pages
One World

Imagine Wanting Only This
978-1-101-87083-9
A gorgeous graphic memoir about loss, love, and confronting grief.
$32.00 US
Apr 18, 2017
Hardcover
288 Pages
Pantheon

They Called Us Enemy: Expanded Edition
978-1-60309-470-2
The New York Times bestselling graphic memoir from actor/author/activist George Takei returns in a deluxe hardcover edition with bonus material! Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
$29.99 US
Aug 25, 2020
Hardcover
224 Pages
Top Shelf Productions

The Complete Persepolis
Volumes 1 and 2
978-0-375-71483-2
Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi's best-selling, internationally acclaimed graphic memoir of growing up as a girl in revolutionary Iran. • "That Satrapi chose to tell her remarkable story as a gorgeous comic book makes it totally unique and indispensable" —TIMEPersepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming—both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom—Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.
$27.00 US
Oct 30, 2007
Paperback
352 Pages
Pantheon

The Complete Maus
A Survivor's Tale
978-0-679-40641-9
The definitive edition of the graphic novel acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker) • PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • One of Variety’s “Banned and Challenged Books Everyone Should Read”A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father into an astonishing retelling of one of history's most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.
$35.00 US
Nov 19, 1996
Hardcover
296 Pages
Pantheon