on writing acknowledgments

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I spent the better part of two days this week writing the acknowledgments for Handling the Truth, my book about the making of memoir, which is due out next year from Gotham.  It occurred to me, as I worked, how difficult this all is—how difficult I always find it to say, with any degree of precision, thank you.  It was especially hard this time given the nature of the book, infused as it is with my experiences with students, with passages from books I've loved, with lessons learned both obliquely and directly, with opportunities that I have been granted, gifted.

We are never alone in this world.  Our tenacity matters, perhaps, our dreams, and yes, perhaps, we knock on doors, but we must wait for others to do the opening.  In writing acknowledgments I always hope to make it clear that I recognize that so much of what a book is or has become is thanks to the kindness of others.

If I fail at expressing that thought adequately, I ask your forgiveness.


Richard Gilbert said...

I'm really looking forward to reading your book. Next to reading memoirs and writing one, I love to read thoughts on them.

patti.mallett_pp said...

SO anxious for this book!!!

Serena said...

I'm sure you will do fine with the acknowledgements.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

It usually takes me 2-3 days to write the acknowledgments, too. You want them to be thoughtful and not leave anyone out!

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