The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative

The Memoir and the Memoirist Reading and Writing Personal Narrative 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 lis

  • Title: The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative
  • Author: Thomas Larson
  • ISBN: 9780804011013
  • Page: 492
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 whatThe 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 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 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.

    One thought on “The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative”

    1. When I reached the end of this book, without pausing I turned back to page one and began it again. That's because the author put far more thought and insight into this ambitious undertaking than I was able to absorb in one pass. The modern-day memoir--life stories written by ordinary folks--has vocal detractors. Some dismiss it as facile self-absorption. Others recoil from the lurid sensationalism found in certain examples and extrapolate from that to the whole genre. Thomas Larson, perhaps for [...]

    2. While I appreciate Thomas Larson's personal philosophy of memoir, I felt like this book generalized his own approach to contemporary memoir to a large degree and romanticized the writing of memoir over other genres. I believe it takes every bit as introspective of a person to write a good novel or a good poem as a memoir. I bet, though, that he's a great teacher. I found the book inspiring as a writer's guide (which is, to be fair, the area of Powell's in which I found the book) but disappointin [...]

    3. This book saved me from my madness. I am one of many who have found themselves writing memoir. I didn't choose this genre, it chose me and I am on a journey of trying to figure out what it means to write memoir. Thanks to Thomas' book, I am now okay with writing about the me then using the me now and that it is okay to modify the story using a lens that is different than the lens I looked through when I first experienced the subject matter to my story. He also gave some great suggestions on what [...]

    4. This book will help the reader/writer get to the really difficult, and rewarding part, of writing memoir. The concept of persona different from the self in the story is essential to writing well. Larson teaches memoir, uses case studies from his classes and classic memoirs for illustration of his ideas. Among the dozen or more books I have read about memoir, this one stands out. In fact, when I think of the task of revising my own memoir draft, I know the best education I can get on persona is i [...]

    5. Even though I was really skeptical of memoirs, and really bitched about having to write (a partial) memoir for class, I'm obsessed with my drafts and am proud of how it turned out. This book was sort of helpful; I would have preferred to read more memoirs to learn about various styles and techniques instead of just reading about them.

    6. So far so godd. My complaint with a lot of books on craft is the lack of academic rigor that goes into organizing the material: lists of books considered, citations for recommended titles, etc. This has all that and more.

    7. Thomas Larson offers excellent examples of different memoirs and provides commentary about them in terms of how memoir is structured, written, and encourages. The book tells of his experiences with a writing group and some of the writer's challenges with time and theme and structure.

    8. A very honest and thought-provoking account of what it means to write a memoir. I was particularly intrigued by the idea that our present condition affects the memories we access from the past.

    9. Extremely tasty insight to prepare me for future projects and rewrites on my current projects. Delicious!

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