AS A MEMOIR COACH, I work with clients all over the world, teasing out their stories, reading whole manuscripts, restructuring works, performing content edits, serving as a writing coach, cajoling next sentences/paragraphs/chapters from eager writers, and more. And that’s the easy part. The hard part is helping someone determine exactly how to tell a tale. After all, there are myriad forms of memoir. And just when I think I know them all, along comes another one. This time it’s “essayistic memoir.” [Read more…]
THERE IS LOTS OF MEMOIR NEWS this week and, at least according to me, all of it is good. The New York Times has announced a new weekly column in the form of an essay on a topic that is long overdue for examination. There are new books coming out in the fall, including one by pretty much everyone’s favorite American rock and roller; there is one celebrity memoir in the pipeline that I think we can all agree will be big; and earth itself is getting a good, hard, book-length look. And more. So read on. [Read more…]
“WHY SHOULD I READ BOOK REVIEWS?” A client asked me this recently. Let me count the reasons, for there are many, starting with the simplest and most direct of them – and let’s hope that written here it sounds slightly kinder than it probably sounded via telephone earlier this week. [Read more…]
LIKE MANY OTHER PEOPLE I KNOW, I have spent much of this summer reading the 1,600 plus pages of Elena Ferrante’s four Neopolitan novels. And like all of those people, I have simultaneously watched the other books I need/want/intend to read pile up, Collier-brothers-like, around me. Here’s a little peek into what else is going on in the world of publishing. Let me know how they are as I finish the last pages of Ferrante’s astonishing works.
Robert Gotleib’s dish within dish within dish comes in the form of an excerpt from his upcoming memoir on New York publishing.
You remember Tama Janowitz. Apparently she did not particularly enjoy being semi-famous, and writes about that – and more – in her new memoir.
J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is getting lots of press, including this New York Times review.
This sounds like a tremendous personal history of racism.
The lovely image above comes to us from the British Library Flickr stream
The view from here is that a stint in the United States Senate has too much in common with a barroom brawl: Irrational, brutal and frequently serving no one, it can seem without merit. But then comes Barbara Boxer’s new memoir, reminding us of her forty-year fight for women, families and the environment, and even a hothead like I am can feel a little bit better. See what these new memoir do for your own savage beast.
Barbara Boxer’s new memoir reflects on four decades in public office.
Hall and Oates’ John Oates on his life in music.
Oh, for the love of bread, and its absence, this book got written.
Two writers, part memoir, part cookbook. The result? Yum.
The toll of sexism in women’s lives can be measured, and is, in this new memoir.
The great Susan Faludi as you’ve never seen her, on her father and the life he led.
And because Father’s Day is coming up, here is a little gift — another take on fathers in a fine essay by Jill Smolowe.
The marvelous print above comes to us via the British Library’s Flickr stream.
WRITING ADVICE IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. I know, I am a memoir coach, and I treat each of the problems of my clients as if they are my own. The truth is that we all need someone to whom to pitch our stuff, listen to our drafts and be invested in our success. That is the first thing I tell every young writer. I met Sarah Corday through my coaching business and, it turns out, I was not the only writer she listened to. She also follows the advice of the inimitable Nora Ephron, one of the truly greats, whose writing lives on despite her tragic death. My writing advice? Listen to Nora whenever you can. But right now, listen to Sarah, whose new book I just got in mail. [Read more…]