The Week in Books 2009, No. 1

This week I read Abigail Thomas’ short book “Thinking About Memoir,” which is an interesting mix of the author’s memories designed to inspire readers to tell their own stories. She notes “we are full of contradiction and conflict; we have played different roles at different times (or simultaneously); we have evolved out of many different selves. Writing memoir is one way to explore how you became the person you are. It’s the story of how you got here from there…it’s a good story.” I think it’s worthwhile to explore how you became who you are, and I also think good memoirs (emphasis on GOOD) make for good reading, but not all memoirs are interesting, because not all writers are honest enough or careful enough to write memoir.

At any rate, if you’re interested in writing, “Thinking About Memoir” has a lot of interesting exercises that would be good for practice, or for unusual blog posts. I’m not sure I’m ready to write my memoir yet, but I do enjoy playing around with writing exercises, so perhaps I’ll throw a few into the blog mix at some point.

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