Magical Memoir Moments

Do You Remember December 1, 1969? Another Chance to Publish Your Story!

I’m beginning to think about my college years, 1966-1970, since that’s where my memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World ends and where a second volume could begin. So I was very interested in the new memoir just about Denis R. O’Neill’s senior year of college at Dartmouth: WHIPLASH: When the Vietnam War…

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Toni Morrison Turns Back Memoir Contract

By almost any standard, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison has led an extraordinary life. I’d love to read the story only she could tell about any segment of this story: born 1931 into a working class family in Lorain, Ohio; educated at Howard and Cornell Universities; taught at various universities (the last being Princeton); an editor…

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After You Die: Do You Want to Live on Digitally? Want to Become an Influential Hologram??

Sometimes all one can say to an idea is “wow.” That’s the way I felt after watching Mashable editor-in-chief Adam Ostrow’s five-minute TED talk below. Writers may not admit it, but one of their desires is to leave evidence that they were here on earth long after they are gone. Memoirists perhaps have this drive…

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Another Way To Hope–A 9-11 Survivor Tells Her Story

My first post on 9-11 this week asked for stories. One friend, artist Erma Martin Yost could not just write a comment. Her heart and mind were bursting. So she sent me an essay, which I immediately asked permission to share. As journalists search for stories of hope, I wonder how many of them have…

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Nine 9-11 Memoirs that Will Touch Your Heart

Living in New York for a year has many benefits. It’s like having a box seat to culture and history. In a few days the focus in the city will be on the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers. I saw tenth-anniversary t-shirts on sale a month ago. Among all…

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24 Hour-Only Memoir Bargain: William Styron's Darkness Visible on Kindle

We all get spam and the next thing to spam–email from companies we have done business with in the past. Amazon just sent me an email, something that happens without my response several times a week. But this one caught my attention. Here is the link to an offer I couldn’t refuse: an electronic copy…

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Is Memoir the New Novel–And Does it Matter?

One of the joys of writing a memoir blog for more than three years is that people send in relevant articles. Today I got this one about memoir replacing the novel from Simone; last week I got a message from Clif. Thanks, friends! The article below, which appeared in Grub Street Daily, was written by…

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Memoir: Is it Inevitably About Our Parents?

Noble laureate Doris Lessing wrote her last book, Alfred and Emily, reviewed in The New York Times here, at age 88. She’s now 91 years old. Apparently she’s been working out the meaning of her parents’ tragic lives all her life. Her father lost a leg in the trenches during World War I. Her mother…

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Memoir as Window to the Unfathomable Self: Stanley Fish on Charles Van Doren

Stanley Fish several years ago wrote his column in the New York Times about an essay by Charles Van Doren in the July 28, 2008, issue of The New Yorker.  If you saw Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford, you know that Charles Van Doren disgraced himself, his family, and perhaps even academic life, by participating in a rigged quiz show…

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Mentors, Mourning, and Memories: Introducing A New Guest Blogger

I’m a regular listener to The New York Times Book Review Podcast. Every week I look forward to Julie Bosman’s “Notes from the Field.” In her case the field is “publishing.” In our case the field is “memoir.” And our reporter is Kathleen Friesen. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you started seeing Kathleen’s comments…

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