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BY WRITING AND TEACHING MEMOIR, I've learned that everyone has a story to tell. My most recent book, "The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text on Writing & Life," was published by Grand Central in 2011. For 15 years I’ve taught what I call “Writing What You Know,” since that’s what memoir requires; it’s as simple – and as complicated – as that. Most of my work includes a large helping of memoir, including my books "The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair" and "Another Name for Madness," and my commentaries for NPR’s "All Things Considered." For six years I was on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius/XM 110 as the writer and voice of "The Naturalist's Datebook." More on my “About” page.
“When I’m teaching memoir writing, I remind my students to picture Galileo in Walmart, standing there amid the deep fryers and digital cameras. All he wants is one small part to perfect the telescope so he can prove that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. He can’t get distracted by the icicle lights or slow cookers, but must get what he needs and come back out. That’s your assignment, too, when you go into your subconscious to write memoir.”