Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art, Second Edit

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9780933377509: Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art, Second Edit
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Since Writing the Memoir came out in early 1997 it has sold roughly 80,000 copies and is consistently praised as "the best book on memoir out there." It is thought-provoking, explanatory, and practical: each chapter ends with writing exercises. It covers everything from questions of truth and ethics to questions of craft and the crucial retrospective voice. An appendix provides information on legal issues.

Judith Barrington, an award-winning memoir writer and acclaimed writing teacher, is attuned to the forces, both external and internal, that work to stop a writer; her tone is respectful of the difficulties and encouraging of taking risks. Her nimble prose, her deep belief in the importance of this genre, and her delight in the rich array of memoirists writing today make this book more than the typical "how-to" creative writing book. In this second edition the author has added new material and reflects on issues raised since Writing the Memoir was written, early in the memoir boom.

"No student of memoir writing could fail to learn from this wise, pragmatic, and confiding book. One hears on every page the voice of an intelligent and responsive teacher, with years of thinking about memoir behind her."—Vivian Gornick

Judith Barrington is the author of Lifesaving: A Memoir and numerous individual memoirs which have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. She is the author of three volumes of poetry: Trying to Be an Honest Woman, History and Geography, and Horses and the Human Soul (forthcoming in 2002). She has taught creative writing for the past twenty years.

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About the Author:

Judith Barrington is the author of Lifesaving: A Memoir, winner of the Lambda Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir and the Oregon Book Award. Many short memoirs have been published in literary magazines and anthologies and have won awards including the Sonora Review Annual Nonfiction Award and the Andres Berger Award for Creative Nonfiction. She is the author of three volumes of poetry, Trying to Be an Honest Woman, History and Geography, and Horses and the Human Soul (forthcoming). She has taught creative writing for the past twenty years at universities and summer writing workshops.

From Library Journal:

Seems like everyone wants to write his or her own memoirs these days. Memoirist and creative writing teacher Barrington (An Intimate Wilderness: Lesbian Writers on Sexuality, LJ 10/1/91) tells us how to do it. Her practical guide leads both experienced and novice writers through the writing process from idea to publication, addressing such technical problems as theme selection, voice, tone, form, plot, scene, and character development, as well as how to stimulate creative thinking and build necessary discipline. Barrington draws on the writings of Alice Walker, Kathleen Norris, Annie Dillard, Frank Conroy, and Virginia Woolf to illustrate her techniques. Her common-sense approach strives to temper the emotional honesty of the genre with the integrity of artistic skill. Libraries supporting a writers' group (for which Barrington includes a do's-and-don'ts section) will want several copies. Academic and school libraries might want it to supplement creative writing curriculums.?Denise S. Sticha, Seton Hill Coll. Lib., Greensburg, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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