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If you're writing your memoir, or summoning the courage to begin, hurry to get this book. And that's what this excellent book does for anyone interested in writing about their own experience. The writing is clear and entertaining, a joy to read. But better still, it provides a path with guideposts for thinking about memoir writing, with pauses for practice in shaded boxes and with shining examples of published memoirs woven throughout: Didion, Doty, Sexton, Dillard, Oates, Goldberg, Walls, and others.
"Find Your Story, Write Your Memoir" will ease your struggle with questions such as Should I write about my life? or How can I organize the chaotic jumble of my experience? or What should I include or leave out? or How will others react to my revelations? or How can I make my writing interesting? Drawing on the tools of fiction and creative nonfiction, it will help you identify and apply techniques for building a successful memoir: the "occasion of the telling," your unique narrator voice, the creation of scene, the necessary details. Although I am an experienced writer, this book has given me valuable new insights and has emboldened me to continue my own memoir writing along the path these authors have so intelligently and elegantly laid out before me. Particularly for a first time memoirist, this book has a lot of good advice. For me, the best part was the structure of building a scene - from catalyst to climax and denoument. And the laying out of 5 or 6 different ways to structure a memoir. Although I' ve read a number of writing books, both of these were new to me, and immediately useful. The book also has a great bibliography (actually two) of memoirs and books about memoir - that's worth the price of admission. Less satisfying for me were the other chapters on craft, much of it seemed like watered down advice from many other writing books. Overall, well done, well worth the time and money.
The information provided in this book--at least in all that I could stand to listen to--is great. However, the narration is TERRIBLE! It's worse than listening to a default phone recording over and over. With the right narrator, this would be an excellent resource for memoir writing, but it makes me have nightmares. Perhaps I'll place it under my pillow and let it play all night while I pretend I'm in a 'brave new world." My advice? Purchase the ebook edition.