That Summer: Great Writers on Life-Changing Summers

That Summer - Biographile

Calendar seasons have a certain poetry to them. The word fall, for instance, evokes change. Winter summons survival. Spring is all about hope.

And then there's summer. Summer is for the soul. It sizzles with choice and independence, freedom and fireworks. It's everywhere at once: Vacationing to who cares where; afield catching fireflies with family; ashore with sandy feet and umbrella breezes.

As we loll into these sultrier months, Signature will be spending each day of July celebrating the poetry of summer. We've recruited fifty great authors -- most with new books being published, from memoirs, to biographies, to novels -- and asked them to look back on a summer of their choosing, one that remains memorable for its grand scope, its small pleasures, its highs, lows, ebbs and flows.

These authors have astounded us with their contributions. Their stories offer something for everyone, tales that tether us to the human experience and remind us of all that we share: flares for romance, knacks for adventure, rites of passage and a thirst for personal growth. They span generations, from the freewheeling '70s to the digital aughts. They cross continental divides, from Shanghai to Georgia. And they bare their bones and their bruises, tearing down the walls between reader and writer to better remember the importance of that summer.

In the midst of this series, if summer stories come flashing back to you in fits of inspiration, we encourage you to write about your own experience too. Paste Magazine is hosting a writing contest alongside Signature's That Summer series, and we welcome you to join the That Summer club by putting your own summer stories to paper.

So in between your beach books and vitamin D binging, join Signature and dozens of your favorite authors as we dive headfirst into the summers that live on forever.

Highlights So Far

July 1: When Driving Was Everything, by Jojo Moyes

July 2: Suddenly One Summer: Ireland, Whiskey and the Devil’s Disguise, by Thomas Cahill

July 2: A Call Center, a Camper, and One Vampire Wedding, by Alissa Nutting

July 3: Stromatolites and Crime in the Canadian Arctic, by Margaret Atwood

July 4: My Summer with Scout Finch, by Meg Waite Clayton

July 7: The Bravado of Youth and Mustard on Steak, by Bret Anthony Johnston

July 8: The Blueprints of a Boyfriend in Maine, by Elise Juska

July 9: Playwright Ken Ludwig on the Summer He Got His Start

July 10: The Very Last Summer, by Rachel Bertsche

July 11: Wave Your Arms Like This! The Squid and The Summer of ’95, by Matthew Gavin Frank

July 14: Lily Koppel on the Apollo 11 Summer of 1969

July 15: On the Magic of Summer Camp, by Anton DiSclafani

July 17: The Journey Home, by Saroo Brierley

July 18: The Smoking Section of Summer Camp, by Emma Straub

July 19: Marc Spitz’s Summer of ’81: There’s A New Wave Comin’, I Warn Ya

July 20: The List of 5: Sex in the ’70s, by Sarah Payne Stuart

July 21: Rob Sheffield’s Summer of Firsts

July 22: Summer Sins, Summer Nights, by David Schickler

July 23: Girl Talk Author Christie Young and the Summer of 10%

July 24: Adam Resnick on The Moment You Know

July 25: Babysitting, Beaches, and Mick Jagger’s Sex Appeal, by Susan Jane Gilman

July 26: The Summer of Geneviève, All Legs and Elbows and Longing, by Peter Von Ziegesar

July 27: Brittani Sonnenberg on Atlanta Summers and Homesick Blues

July 28: Lessons from Venice in August, by Sophie Kinsella

July 29: The Summer of Grandma Maria, by Lorenzo Carcaterra