WHAT IS A MEMOIR? I think of memoir as three-legged stool, designed specifically to hold up your story. In other words, it has requirements – four, to be precise: your story and three others – and learning them will allow you to write this wondrous form. [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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DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? I mean, have you noticed the growing popularity of writing about the makings of memoir, its nuts and bolts, levers and gimcracks? It’s all very meta or something, but I try to cull through it each week for you and bring you only what will help your work. See what you think about this week’s offerings.
Here’s news on a breathtaking Holocaust memoir
You might want to enter this memoir contest
Child star of the movie Matilda (turned Twitter star) has written a memoir due out in September
This lovely image comes to us from the British Library Flickr stream
The View from here is that fans of our favorite genre have every reason to believe that we have some good reading ahead. Have a look and see if all this new memoir and memoir news does not result in you making space on your nightside table.
Here’s how the Brevity magazine craft editor went from “anguished entries in a private journal” to publishing her fine new memoir
And here is the Brevity contest you want to enter, memoir writers
A memoir from a complicated brilliant man who finally triumphed over enormous adversity is coming out soon
A remarkable title and, apparently, an astonishing book
The Hollywood Reporter’s list of 3 Cool Books to Know This Week includes 2 memoirs
Love these photos? Me too. This one is courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
This week in memoir brought us the good, the bad, and some ugly news about our favorite genre. I don’t know about you, but after reading the tidbit I have listed first, you might have to go lie down. I did.
Self-proclaimed “Lab Girl” talks memoir on public radio
A fine memoir being “reshaped” for a young audience. But what does that mean, exactly?
A clever little book takes on the breakdown of a marriage and the meaning of hotels all under one cover
Peabody award-winning host of NPR show has out a new memoir on listening
So many war memoirs, but this one distinguishes itself mightily
Vulture’s list of 8 Books to Read This April contains one breathtaking memoir
This answers the big question I get all the time on the legality of writing memoir
I ALWAYS THINK I’ve heard it all when it comes to writing productivity and tricking yourself, bargaining oneself, bribing oneself into it. And then I met Marita Golden, author of more than a dozen books, and I heard something entirely new: That terror could be tamed with a timer. She told be about what writing for ten minutes did for her. Okay, I said. Write it up. And she did. Let me introduce you. Marita’s newest book will be out soon, and we’ll hear from her again when its published, but right now, as spring is trying to spring and distract you in its beneficence, how about we all get a little work done?