The Art of Memoir
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|Author||: Mary Karr|
Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash bestsellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well. For thirty years Karr has also taught the form, winning teaching prizes at Syracuse. (The writing program there produced such acclaimed authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas.) In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre. Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr’s own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told— and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate. Joining such classics as Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, The Art of Memoir is an elegant and accessible exploration of one of today’s most popular literary forms—a tour de force from an accomplished master pulling back the curtain on her craft.
|Author||: Russell Baker,William Zinsser,William Knowlton Zinsser|
|Editor||: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
In this perfect companion for anyone beguiled by memoirs or embarking on writing one, nine distinguished authors -- Russell Baker, Jill Ker Conway, Annie Dillard, Ian Frazier, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alfred Kazin, Frank McCourt, Toni Morrison, and Eileen Simpson -- reflect on the writing process.
|Author||: Sven Birkerts|
|Editor||: Art of|
In The Art of Time in Memoir, critic, editor, and memoirist Sven Birkerts examines the human impulse to write about the self. "Memoir is, for better and often for worse, the genre of our times," Birkerts writes. But what makes one memoir memorable and another self-serving? What determines the difference between graceful disclosure and sensational self-exposure? Birkerts argues that the memoirist's strategies for presenting the subjective experience of time reveal the power and resonance of the writer's life. By examining memoirs such as Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory, Virginia Woolf's unfinished A Sketch of the Past, and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club, Birkerts describes the memoirist's essential art of assembling patterns of meaning, how the work stirs to life our own sense of past and present."--BOOK JACKET.
|Author||: Tom Hart|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Griffin|
#1 New York Times bestselling author and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart has written a poignant and instructive guide for all aspiring graphic memoirists detailing the tenets of artistry and story-telling inherent in the medium. Hart examines what makes a graphic memoir great, and shows you how to do it. With two dozen professional examples and a deep-dive into his own story, Hart encourages readers to hone their signature style in the best way to represent their journeys on the page. With clear examples and visual aids, The Art of the Graphic Memoir is emotive, creative, and accessible. Whether you're a comics fan, comic book creator, memoirist, biographer or autobiographer, there’s something inside for everyone.
|Author||: Mary Karr|
|Editor||: Harper Collins|
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR New York Times Book Review • The New Yorker • Entertainment Weekly • Time • Washington Post • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Christian Science Monitor • Slate • St. Louise Post-Dispatch • Cleveland Plain Dealer • Seattle Times • NBCC Award Finalist Mary Karr’s unforgettable sequel to her beloved and bestselling memoirs The Liars’ Club and Cherry “lassos you, hogties your emotions and won’t let you go” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times). Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr's relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up—as only Mary Karr can tell it. The Boston Globe calls Lit a book that “reminds us not only how compelling personal stories can be, but how, in the hands of a master, they can transmute into the highest art." The New York Times Book Review calls it “a master class on the art of the memoir” and Susan Cheever states, simply, that Lit is “the best book about being a woman in America I have read in years."
|Author||: Ayelet Tsabari|
WINNER OF THE CANADIAN JEWISH LITERARY AWARD FOR MEMOIR FINALIST FOR THE HILARY WESTON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION An unforgettable memoir about a young woman who tries to outrun loss, but eventually finds a way home. Ayelet Tsabari was 21 years old the first time she left Tel Aviv with no plans to return. Restless after two turbulent mandatory years in the Israel Defense Forces, Tsabari longed to get away. It was not the never-ending conflict that drove her, but the grief that had shaken the foundations of her home. The loss of Tsabari’s beloved father in years past had left her alienated and exiled within her own large Yemeni family and at odds with her Mizrahi identity. By leaving, she would be free to reinvent herself and to rewrite her own story. For nearly a decade, Tsabari travelled, through India, Europe, the US and Canada, as though her life might go stagnant without perpetual motion. She moved fast and often because—as in the Intifada—it was safer to keep going than to stand still. Soon the act of leaving—jobs, friends and relationships—came to feel most like home. But a series of dramatic events forced Tsabari to examine her choices and her feelings of longing and displacement. By periodically returning to Israel, Tsabari began to examine her Jewish-Yemeni background and the Mizrahi identity she had once rejected, as well as unearthing a family history that had been untold for years. What she found resonated deeply with her own immigrant experience and struggles with new motherhood. Beautifully written, frank and poignant, The Art of Leaving is a courageous coming-of-age story that reflects on identity and belonging and that explores themes of family and home—both inherited and chosen.
|Author||: Mary Karr|
From Mary Karr comes this gorgeously written, often hilarious story of her tumultuous teens and sexual coming-of-age. Picking up where the bestselling The Liars' Club left off, Karr dashes down the trail of her teen years with customary sass, only to run up against the paralyzing self-doubt of a girl in bloom. Fleeing the thrills and terrors of adolescence, she clashes against authority in all its forms and hooks up with an unforgettable band of heads and bona-fide geniuses. Parts of Cherry will leave you gasping with laughter. Karr assembles a self from the smokiest beginnings, delivering a long-awaited sequel that is both "bawdy and wise" (San Francisco Chronicle).
|Author||: Rosemary Keevil|
|Editor||: She Writes Press|
When her brother dies of AIDS and her husband dies of cancer in the same year, Rosemary is left on her own with two young daughters and antsy addiction demons dancing in her head. This is the nucleus of The Art of Losing It a young mother jerking from emergency to emergency as the men in her life drop dead around her; a high-functioning radio show host waging war with her addictions while trying to raise her two little girls who just lost their daddy; and finally, a stint in rehab and sobriety that ushers in a fresh brand of chaos instead of the tranquility her family so desperately needs. Heartrending but ultimately hopeful, The Art of Losing It is the story of a struggling mother who finds her way—slowly, painfully—from one side of grief and addiction to the other.
|Author||: Marion Roach Smith|
|Editor||: Grand Central Publishing|
Read the "practical resource for beginners" looking to write their own memoir because this is the essential guide on the topic -- now new and revised (Kirkus Reviews)! The greatest story you could write is the one you experienced yourself. Knowing where to start is the hardest part, but it just got a little easier with this essential guidebook for anyone wanting to write a memoir. Did you know that the #1 thing that baby boomers want to do in retirement is write a book--about themselves? It's not that every person has lived such a unique or dramatic life, but we inherently understand that writing a memoir--whether it's a book, blog, or just a letter to a child--is the single greatest path to self-examination. Through the use of disarmingly frank, but wildly fun tactics that offer you simple and effective guidelines that work, you can stop treading water in writing exercises or hiding behind writer's block. Previously self-published under the title, Writing What You Know: Raelia, this book has found an enthusiastic audience that now writes with intent. While there have been other writing books, there's nothing like Marion Roach Smith's The Memoir Project.
|Author||: Thomas Larson|
|Editor||: Ohio University Press|
The memoir is the most popular and expressive literary form of our time. Writers embrace the memoir and readers devour it, propelling many memoirs by relative unknowns to the top of the best-seller list. Writing programs challenge authors to disclose themselves in personal narrative. Memoir and personal narrative urge writers to face the intimacies of the self and ask what is true. In The Memoir and the Memoirist, critic and memoirist Thomas Larson explores the craft and purpose of writing this new form. Larson guides the reader from the autobiography and the personal essay to the memoir—a genre focused on a particularly emotional relationship in the author’s past, an intimate story concerned more with who is remembering, and why, than with what is remembered. The Memoir and the Memoirist touches on the nuances of memory, of finding and telling the truth, and of disclosing one’s deepest self. It explores the craft and purpose of personal narrative by looking in detail at more than a dozen examples by writers such as Mary Karr, Frank McCourt, Dave Eggers, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Mark Doty, Nuala O’Faolain, Rick Bragg, and Joseph Lelyveld to show what they reveal about themselves. Larson also opens up his own writing and that of his students to demonstrate the hidden mechanics of the writing process. For both the interested reader of memoir and the writer wrestling with the craft, The Memoir and the Memoirist provides guidance and insight into the many facets of this provocative and popular art form.
|Author||: Edwidge Danticat|
|Editor||: Graywolf Press|
A moving reflection on a subject that touches us all, by the bestselling author of Claire of the Sea Light Edwidge Danticat’s The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story is at once a personal account of her mother dying from cancer and a deeply considered reckoning with the ways that other writers have approached death in their own work. “Writing has been the primary way I have tried to make sense of my losses,” Danticat notes in her introduction. “I have been writing about death for as long as I have been writing.” The book moves outward from the shock of her mother’s diagnosis and sifts through Danticat’s writing life and personal history, all the while shifting fluidly from examples that range from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude to Toni Morrison’s Sula. The narrative, which continually circles the many incarnations of death from individual to large-scale catastrophes, culminates in a beautiful, heartrending prayer in the voice of Danticat’s mother. A moving tribute and a work of astute criticism, The Art of Death is a book that will profoundly alter all who encounter it.
|Author||: Krista Burlae|
For countless years, emotional pain has been a catalyst for creation. Musicians and mystics, artists and authors have transformed personal tragedy into works of sublime beauty—and in doing so, often found inner peace. The Art of Cathartic Memoir explicitly shows writers how to recast their experiences into art while encouraging them to find such inner peace. It offers exercises, structure, and inspiration based on a wide range of literary, psychological, and spiritual sources. Drawing upon the ideas of Carolyn Myss, St. John of the Cross, and many others, The Art of Cathartic Memoir supports writers in constructing their life stories in a mystical yet artful way. Whether writing a full-length book or a shorter piece of memoir, The Art of Cathartic Memoir facilitates transformation on many levels and speaks to writers, why they need to create, what keeps them from it, and how to overcome resistance.“Krista has been a friend and trusted editor for several years. She has worked with me and my brother on a manuscript authored by our deceased father. As a skilled writer, Krista quickly identified and sensitively corrected the technical and grammatical issues involved in dealing with a non-native English speaker. More importantly, she readily grasped the meaning and intent of what was written. She was able to delve into what our father was thinking and his motivation as he wrote particular passages and recalled specific scenes.”—A. Zygielbaum, Lincoln, Nebraska “Krista’s workshop and gentle facilitation enabled even the beginning writer to tap into skills never before realized. Her workshop gave me permission to play with words in my head and allow those words to dance on paper.”—D. Brown, Lincoln, Nebraska
|Author||: Linda Joy Myers,Brooke Warner|
|Editor||: She Writes Press|
The Magic of Memoir is a memoirist’s companion for when the going gets tough. Editors Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner have taught and coached hundreds of memoirists to the completion of their memoirs, and they know that the journey is fraught with belittling messages from both the inner critic and naysayers, voices that make it hard to stay on course with the writing and completion of a book. In The Magic of Memoir, 38 writers share their hard-won wisdom, stories, and writing tips. Included are Myers's and Warner's interviews with best-selling and widely renown memoirists Mary Karr, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Azar Nafisi, Dani Shapiro, Margo Jefferson, Raquel Cepeda, Jessica Valenti, Daisy Hernández, Mark Matousek, and Sue William Silverman. This collection has something for anyone who's on the journey or about to embark on it. If you're looking for inspiration, The Magic of Memoir will be a valuable companion. Contributors include: Jill Kandel, Eanlai Cronin, Peter Gibb, Lynette Charity, Lynette Charity, Roseann M. Bozzone, Carol E. Anderson, Bella Mahaya Carter, Krishan Bedi, Sarah Conover, Leza Lowitz, Nadine Kenney Johnstone, Lynette Benton, Kelly Kittel, Robert W. Finertie, Rita M. Gardner, Robert Hammond, Marina Aris, LaDonna Harrison, Jill Smolowe, Alison Dale, Vanya Erickson, Sonvy Sammons, Laurie Prim, Ashley Espinoza, Jing Li, Nancy Chadwick-Burke, Dhana Musil, Crystal-Lee Quibell, Apryl Schwab, Irene Sardanis, Jude Walsh, Fran Simone, Rosalyn Kaplus, Rosie Sorenson, Rosie Sorenson, Jerry Waxler, and Ruthie Stender.
|Editor||: Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations|
Writing the Sacred Journey shows readers how to write about spirituality and the interior life with heart and flair. It helps readers get motivated, generate materials, move swiftly through drafts, and gain confidence and ease in their writing. Writing the Sacred Journey helps readers to uncover and honor the sacred within their own life stories. Elizabeth Andrew, an experienced writing instructor and spiritual director, gently guides readers through the spiritual writing process from concept to finished manuscript. She identifies some of the initial hurdles writers face in describing the interior, spiritual life and offers practical tips about how to overcome them. Writing the Sacred Journey also explores themes that commonly appear in spiritual memoir, as well as the all-important issue of writing as craft. Readers will learn new and practical skills for every stage of the writing process. Sprinkled throughout the book, these thoughtful activities teach readers new writing techniques and avenues into the creative process.
|Author||: Beth Kephart|
A memoir-writing guide offers writing lessons and examples for those interested in putting their memories down on paper, explains the difference between remembering and imagining, and describes the language of truth.
|Author||: Jennette McCurdy|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life. Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income. In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants. Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.
|Author||: Patricia Hampl|
“A sharp and unconventional book — a swirl of memoir, travelogue and biography of some of history's champion day-dreamers.” —Maureen Corrigan, "Fresh Air" A spirited inquiry into the lost value of leisure and daydream The Art of the Wasted Day is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose a goal, even an art form. She begins with two celebrated eighteenth-century Irish ladies who ran off to live a life of "retirement" in rural Wales. Her search then leads to Moravia to consider the monk-geneticist, Gregor Mendel, and finally to Bordeaux for Michel Montaigne--the hero of this book--who retreated from court life to sit in his chateau tower and write about whatever passed through his mind, thus inventing the personal essay. Hampl's own life winds through these pilgrimages, from childhood days lazing under a neighbor's beechnut tree, to a fascination with monastic life, and then to love--and the loss of that love which forms this book's silver thread of inquiry. Finally, a remembered journey down the Mississippi near home in an old cabin cruiser with her husband turns out, after all her international quests, to be the great adventure of her life. The real job of being human, Hampl finds, is getting lost in thought, something only leisure can provide. The Art of the Wasted Day is a compelling celebration of the purpose and appeal of letting go.
|Author||: Diane Taylor|
|Editor||: BPS Books|
The Gift of Memoir is Diane Taylor's gift to writers of every kind, but especially those with a personal or family story to tell. In words that are themselves a stellar example of literary craftsmanship, Taylor shows writers how to show up, open up, and write. Her short chapters, full of practical advice and inspiring examples, cover such topics as: The all-importance of reading to writing Establishing a writing ritual Why write memoir? The importance of joining a writing community Telling the truth when you aren't sure Journaling as a kind of personal writing workshop Four strategies to retrieve memories How to use anecdotes and establish themes How to write through the five senses How to choose a form that fits your writing The revision process
|Author||: Russell Baker|
|Editor||: Mariner Books|
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., reveals his liberating decision to write Colored People without a white censor looking over his shoulder. Jill Ker Conway recalls how her memoir of her Australian girlhood, The Road from Coorain, became a call to young women everywhere to take charge of their lives.