View Full Version : books on memoir writing? Here's one...

Susan B
02-17-2007, 11:07 PM
Just read this, recommended by someone in my critque group:

Judith Barrington. "Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art"

Found it very helpful, especially in her discussion of scene, narrative, and musing. Also time lines, moving back and forth. Not long, both straightforward and inspiring.

Anyone have other resources that have been helpful?

--Susan B.

02-18-2007, 01:10 AM
Vivian Gornick's The Situation and the Story (http://www.amazon.com/Situation-Story-Art-Personal-Narrative/dp/0374528586). My favorite part of this book is actually her close readings of essays and memoirs.

Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir (http://www.amazon.com/Inventing-Truth-Art-Craft-Memoir/dp/0395901502/sr=1-3/qid=1171746166/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/104-7734964-3802341?ie=UTF8&s=books)edited by William Zinsser. It's a dozen or so essays by different memoirists.

William Zinsser's, Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past (http://www.amazon.com/Writing-About-Your-Life-Journey/dp/1569244685/sr=1-6/qid=1171746166/ref=sr_1_6/104-7734964-3802341?ie=UTF8&s=books). A memoir on how to write memoir. I've enjoyed his craft books quite a bit but I find his memoirs boring.

Creative Nonfiction Magazine (http://www.creativenonfiction.org/) also has some good articles on memoir. The "29 Million Little Choices" issue was especially illuminating on memoir writing.

There's an article in the latest issue of AWP Magazine about memoir writing that's good.

I also read Judith's book and found it very helpful.

02-18-2007, 05:43 AM
Mary Pipher wrote a book entitled Writing to Change the World (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781594489204&itm=8). I have not yet read it, but plan to get it on my next trip to Barnes & Noble.

pink lily
02-18-2007, 05:49 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. I know that I'll need to read about the genre before I really get to writing my story.

02-20-2007, 05:35 AM
Wow, this is nice to know. I hope I can get it at the library. Or I can buy it sometime in the future if it's not too expensive.

Hi JaniceR!!

03-24-2007, 09:35 PM
A great way to learn how to write memoir is to read memoir. And don't just focus on good memoirs. I've learned a lot from reading what I would consider bad memoirs as well.

For instance, one question you consider when writing memoir is do you change the names of some people? For an answer, I started looking at what other writers have done, and how those writers let the reader know about it.