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Extraordinary stories from ordinary people

Remarkable and real tales of adversity, humour, and compassion you won't be able to put down.

Rachel Deeley
Illustration: Flynn Shore and Victoria Ford

Sometimes, the most incredible stories come not from the imagination of a novelist but the very real and often paradigm-shifting moments that define a lifetime. Consider memoirs such as The Light We Carry, packed with empowering life lessons from Michelle Obama, or Prince Harry's salacious tell-all Spare, which have proved that life-writing can make blockbuster page-turners.

But much as we all love a behind-the-scenes look at celebrities and public figures, inspiring and jaw-dropping true stories can also come from much more humble circumstances: a young Black man falsely accused of murder; a Holocaust survivor who passed through no fewer than five Nazi concentration camps; a daughter piecing together the mystery of her mother's disappearance; a couple turning to the wilderness as they face financial ruin; and women from Albania to Arkansas revisiting hard truths about their childhoods. Find them all – and more – rounded up here.

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