MARY KARR’S NEW BOOK, The Art of Memoir, came in the mail from her publisher with a lovely letter asking me to read it. Oooh, I thought, now this is a job perk. A free book. Nice. And then I began reading, and that definition of a lifestyle perk swelled to a genuine appreciation that it’s not just the free books, of course, but the access to really good books that make this life the one I fought hard to get. [Read more…]
WHEN I HEARD that Mardi Jo Link had another memoir out I was overjoyed. After all, her most recent book, Bootstrapper, From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm was as much fun to read as the title promised it would be. And now we’ve got The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond time and Chance, and at least from where I sit (and read) all seems right with the world. I invited Mardi to write a piece about how this book came about, and the choice of writing about friends. Here it is. [Read more…]
FEW, IF ANY, THINGS MAKE ME HAPPIER than a successful memoir written by someone I like and admire. Perhaps the only thing that comes to mind is if the book is gorgeous, as well. That being the conditions for my happiness, I can only say that I am currently ecstatic to introduce to you The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to Caregiving: A Practical Memoir by Judith Henry. Oh yeah, and it’s funny as hell. Really. Funny. About caregiving. So I asked Judith to write a piece about finding the funny in memoir. Read on. I think you’ll be glad you did.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT to know the ending of your story when you begin? Can you know? Should you? It’s memoir, after all, and your memoir, at that, but how much surprise should you expect? I love this line of inquiry, and no one is better to take it on than Dinah Lenney, author of the exquisite, The Object Parade (Counterpoint, 2014), a book I have kept on my desk and opened and reopened long after reading it. A master of the essay and of memoir, Dinah is here for you. Read what she has to say. [Read more…]
CREATIVE INSPIRATION COMES at you from every direction. In this time of hyper-media involvement, we can sometimes simply want to duck. But don’t. I mean, why should you when I am willing to taking on the task of organization for you? Nothing like tidying up the universe to make a woman feel good, right? And I am feeling good, creating Pinterest pages for memoir that will make your writing lives much, much easier. [Read more…]
WRITING ABOUT THE TOUGHEST stuff of life will include the kind of struggle you need to prepare for. Simple as that. You will change your mind, your methods, your voice, your approach, perhaps your reporting mode, and probably most of the piece several times. You might doubt your sanity, the reliability of your family, and even the idea that there is any truth lurking out there for you to capture on the page. My advice to those who are doing this is to get every bit of help available. Figuring out how to write the truth about tough times should not be done on one’s own. No one should try this alone. Donna Miller’s new book is written from the toughest place on earth, and she is here to share with you how she got from there to here. [Read more…]