In the voices of twenty landmark memoirists--including New York Times bestselling authors Cheryl Strayed, Sue Monk Kidd, and Pat Conroy--a definitive text on the craft of autobiographical writing, indispensable for amateur and professional writers alike.Read more...
In the voices of twenty landmark memoirists--including New York Times bestselling authors Cheryl Strayed, Sue Monk Kidd, and Pat Conroy--a definitive text on the craft of autobiographical writing, indispensable for amateur and professional writers alike.For readers of Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir and Judith Barrington's Writing the Memoir, this follow-up to editor Meredith Maran's acclaimed writers' handbook, Why We Write, offers inspiration, encouragement, and pithy, practical advice for bloggers, journal-keepers, aspiring essayists, and memoirists. Curated and edited by Maran, herself an acclaimed author and book critic, these memoirists share the lessons they've learned through years of honing their craft. They reveal what drives them to tell their personal stories and examine the nuts and bolts of how they do it. Speaking frankly about issues ranging from turning oneself into an authentic, compelling character to exposing hard truths, these outstanding authors disclose what keeps them going, what gets in their way, and what they love most--and least--about writing about themselves. "It's possible that Why We Write About Ourselves is the first compilation of memoirists at the top of their game seriously and thoughtfully considering the genre."
- LA Times
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-02
- Reviewer: Staff
In this helpful collection, 20 authors address the challenges of personal writing, from self-reflection to respecting the feelings of the other people in ones life. Maran (My Lie), an accomplished memoirist herself, has selected a diverse group of contributors to speak from their personal experiences while also reflecting on memoir as a genre. Edwidge Danticat describes the year of grief that compelled her to write her first memoir, A.M. Homes grapples with her distaste for personal writing, and Cheryl Strayed ruminates on the repercussions of her runaway success. Each contributors section has four distinct components: Marans introduction to the writers themes and works, a biographical CV, the writers thoughts on memoir, and bullet-pointed items of wisdom for memoir writers. These writers differ greatly in their approach to a delicate and dangerous art. Meghan Daum decided to supplement what was (in her opinion) an unremarkable life story by tying it to larger themes; Ishmael Beah, a onetime child soldier from Sierra Leone, was forced to defend his memoirs veracity. But in the end, they all agree that they write about themselves because they have to. (Jan.)