Writing Lessons: Writing About Friends

8fc605cc4a0e1e15237ab6b33be9a184WHEN 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…]

New Memoir for A Summer Read

8fc605cc4a0e1e15237ab6b33be9a184THERE IS SO MUCH NEW MEMOIR, and so much of it is good, that I cannot stop myself from grinning from earring to earring. This is fine news, folks, since it indicates that the genre is alive and well, despite the effort by some to pull it into the kiss-and-tell and leave it there to languish. Instead, we’ve got some real exploration of human life on this planet, complete with transcendence, humor, insight and – hold the phone – fine writing. Good for them, those diligent writers. Good for us, the grateful readers. And good for all of us who write memoir. [Read more…]

Writing Lessons: The Joy of Finding the Funny in Memoir

DDG CoverFEW, 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.


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New Memoir: Women and Drinking, An Update

b85f4ee20b966e7a5bb2e75b67b25dbaTAKING ON THE TOPIC of blackout drinking would be brave for anyone, but I would argue that for a woman to do so is a special kind of brave, particularly if she plans to be honest, as well as to do some diligent reporting on the science of the blackout. Apparently Sarah Hepola is both honest and diligent, and in her new memoir, Blackout: Remembering Things I Drank to Forget (Grand Central), she tells it like it once was for her. [Read more…]

Writing Through Sadness. A Fix or a Failure?

Anne Roiphe, from Publishers Weekly

Anne Roiphe, from Publishers Weekly

AS A MEMOIR COACH and writing teacher, I am accustomed to a great deal of pushback from writers about re-entering troubled times. “Why should I go back there?” someone will ask, particularly after a difficult edit. It begs the question of whether writing through sadness makes things better or worse. [Read more…]

How to Promote Online Writing? Like this.

WHEN A FRIEND PUBLISHES a book, you buy it and read it. It’s a simple rule, and one I am delighted to follow. You tell your friends about it. In short, you do what you can. How much is too much? Well, my friend Jack’s southern aunty pins reviews of his books to her dress and wears them all over town, an ethic I think is right in line with normal, acceptable behavior, and while to date I have convinced no relative of mine to do such things, there is always the next book. But how about when something by a friend is published online? How to promote online work? You do this. [Read more…]