Working on Beginnings

Sunday, February 6, 2011

This week my utterly tremendous Creative Nonfiction students at Penn will be sharing their latest work, talking Ginzburg and Gornick, and reflecting on beginnings.  What do beginnings (in memoir) do?  What are the options?  What has been done that works, what has been done too much, what are the remaining untested possibilities (are there any)?

I've been compiling my read-aloud excerpts for the week.  Here's what we've got on the list:

* Running in the Family (Michael Ondaatje)
* Hiroshima in the Morning (Rahna Reiko Rizzuto)
* Let's Take the Long Way Home (Gail Caldwell)
* The Music Room (William Fiennes)
* Lit (Mary Karr)
* No Heroes (Chris Offutt)
* Truth and Beauty (Ann Patchett)
* Limbo (A. Manette Ansay)
* Four Seasons in Rome (Anthony Doerr)
* The Names of Things (Susan Brind Morrow)
* The Tongue Set Free (Elias Canetti)
* The Memory Palace (Mira Bartok)
* Breaking Night (Liz Murray)
* Cakewalk (Kate Moses)
* Seeing Through Places (Mary Gordon)

One feels compelled (impelled) to share every last something one knows or feels with kids like these.  I study my bookshelves, seeking more.


Anna Lefler said...

I imagine your bookshelves hold more than enough for this class and many to come...

:-) A.

septembermom said...

After reading your list, I'm benefiting from your bookshelf selection too. I will go find some of these books to read as well.

Wendy said...

Rizutto's and Caldwell's books are high on my list of great memoirs. And if you are looking for another astonishing, beautifully written memoir, check out Elizabeth McCracken's book An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination (here is a link to my review if you are interested). I need to peruse your list here and add some more books to my never-ending wish list!!

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP