Edgy Memoirs


People who have had a great acting career or been president of a large country write memoirs that we read for their historic/cultural value. Our interest is in the story of their lives. But there's another kind of memoir—one that is trying to tell another kind of truth. These memoirs are more personal stories of dysfunction, addiction, overcoming the odds. They take us on alcoholic journeys, into scary families and scarier souls. In this workshop, we will attempt to uncover this kind of truth. But this isn’t a class in autobiography; rather, it is a class in telling a story. What differentiates these stories from other tales of grief and woe is that they are, quite simply, well-told. We will read memoirs by authors such as Kathryn Harrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Nick Flynn, and Jeanette Taylor. And we will attempt to write one of our own. The emphasis will be on how to tell our stories. This workshop is only for those with some experience writing creative nonfiction. Permission of the instructor is required.