FINDING OUR TRUE SELVES may be one of life’s great journeys, but writing from that place is among the hardest assignments I know. How to write from your true self, and not the one you wished you were, or one who is smarter, wittier or anything else-er? I asked an expert. Let me introduce you to Michele Cushatt, whose new book is just out. [Read more…]
MY FOUR FAVORITE RECENT MEMOIR are all by women. However, they could not possibly be more different – the women and the books – except that they are all truth-telling, with strong voices, fine reporting skills and terrific writing. These are the new memoir to read, people, so get to your bookstore now. [Read more…]
IN THE RUN-UP to the holidays it seemed like there was no new memoir to read. Uh oh, I thought. This was not good. And then things changed. “Ah,” I said yesterday, as I read through my Google search results for new memoir, “ah.” Settle back in your chair and let me share my finds with you. [Read more…]
MAKING THAT NEW YEAR resolution to write memoir? Let me help you. Here are some books that will teach, inspire, inform and otherwise provoke you to get to work.
The first is from two colleagues, both of whom have been writing and teaching memoir for a good long while. Called The Magic of Memoir, the book was edited by Lynda Joy Meyers and Brooke Warner. They did a brilliant thing here, collecting 38 writers in one cover all on our favorite topic — memoir writing — including such greats as Mary Karr, Dani Shapiro and Margo Jefferson. Opening at random you’ll find that any single page will address a problem you have either had or are about to have in your memoir writing.
I read a lot of memoir copy, but even I was practically dumbfounded to read this review of a 1920s Jazz-Age memoir. Apparently this in one of those found-journals-turned-memoir tales, but the journal was kept by a working woman who got around in the highest of high-flying circles and she kept notes. Filled with rich material, the likes of which we only see in movies, this 1920s memoir is entitled, Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America. The book was edited by historian Robin Bachin, and tells the tale of the liquor-fueled roaring twenties. This review makes it sound like a gem that cannot and should not be missed. I’m ordering mine today.
But yet again Bustle has done the best work here, as they frequently do, finding those books that I most want to read. Here is this list from Bustle of the 15 Most Anticipated Non-fiction books of 2017. I agree with every single one, and I am particularly looking forward to the works by Joan Didion, Dani Shapiro, Ariel Levy, and Mary Gaitskill, David Sedaris and Roxanne Gay.
And of course we cannot leave the page without a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, whose new book, The Princess Diarist was tearing it up at the time of her recent and untimely death. She referred to it as her “sort of memoir,” though anyone who has read Wishful Drinking, her de facto memoir, knows the woman could really write. She will be deeply missed.
Reading any memoir that you simply must tell is about? Leave a comment here. See something here you love? Share it with your friends.
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MY DAUGHTER GAVE ME a book I do not understand. It’s a wonderful feeling. Settling into bed last night, my first night with it, I was thrown out from under my comforter and tossed into a place of cold, hard perplexion and fear. Never happier after not understanding the first page, I had a similar reaction to not understanding the second. Didn’t she say this was a memoir? Suddenly I found myself wondering what is a memoir, and is this one? Gleeful, I plunged on. [Read more…]
READING IS A TEAM SPORT, one that takes a village of people in which we pass, hand-to-hand or by word of mouth, the books we love. I had two books literally pressed into my hand this week, both gifts from other readers. And then there are those I read about online that I feel I must press into yours.
Consider yourself part of the team. But remember: Do the same for the next person. Share this list, add what you’re reading. Be generous. Memoir deserves nothing less.
Here is what I’ve been reading about recently.
- Bustle’s 5 Feminist Messages from the Must-Read New Memoir “Love Warrior.”
- A lovely, smart friend of mine sat me down and read to me from this book the other night. It was divine. The whole experience.
- Bryan Cranston. His memoir. What more do I need to say?
- “When in French.” Lauren Collins’ new book. This is getting the very best reviews everywhere.
- Treyf. Know the word? Read the book.
What’s on your nightstand?
I got this fabulous photo from The Public Domain Review. Thank you.