Magical Memoir Moments

The Help: A Bestselling Novel with a Memoir Message

The Help spent 379 days in the Amazon Top 100 list. It has 1,751 reviews on Amazon.com and rates 4.5 stars. It is a novel, but, as Lanie Tankard argues, it deserves consideration from a memoir perspective.   The Help by Kathryn Stockett New York: Amy Einhorn Books (Putnam), 2009. Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, CD,…

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Laughter and Family in Memoir Writing: Guest Blogs and an Upcoming Giveaway

 “What makes us laugh out loud?” is the question I am asking as I re-read Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Next week I will try to answer that question for a guest post  I plan to send to Matilda Butler at the great website  Womensmemoirs.com. If you have not discovered this website, I recommend that you…

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Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Potential Source for Memoir Writers

My friend Lanie Tankard discovered today that one of the stories she had published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has now been digitized by Google.  I recommend that you open this link and read “Rite of Passage,” her description of parting with her daughter on the one hand and mother on the…

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Announcing the Winner(s) of the Six-Word Memoir Contest

The six-word memoir contest ended at 5 p.m. today. There were 28 entries, three of which were posted on Facebook  and added into the comments section of the original post by me. Click here if you want to see all 28. I have selected the entry of Chin Pheng Oh “Watching her grow, I see…

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Nostalgia: How Important to the Memoir Writer? Reader?

One of my colleagues, Deb Higgins, sent around an email that has evidently gone viral.  It depicts lots of items remembered only by Baby Boomers and their elders. I used the skate key picture from that email as an illustration for Lanie Tankard’s guest blog on Touchstones. But I thought you might like to see…

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Touchstones: Keys to a Great Memoir

Guest blogger Lanie Tankard returns today to talk about memories of her childhood using  “luminous particulars”-a phrase borrowed from Jane Kenyon and Ezra Pound via my former colleague at Goshen College Ann Hostetler. Lanie’s word for those wonderfully evocative objects is “touchstones.” If you enjoy this beautiful essay, you may want to read her first…

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Memoir Clusters: A Guest Blog Post

Today’s guest blogger is writer and editor Lanie Tankard who is a long-time friend.  My husband Stuart enjoys taking credit for Lanie’s romance and marriage to Jim Tankard, a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, because Stuart suggested that Lanie contact Jim about a summer program–back in 1972. This picture of…

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