Reflecting on Here/There Memoirs in Today's Publishing Perspectives

Friday, July 26, 2013

Today in Publishing Perspectives, a digital magazine about the international world of books, I'm reflecting on a sub-species of memoir I like to think of as Cross-Border memoirs, or Here/There memoirs.

I kick the piece off with thoughts about the great Michael Ondaatje's indispensable Running in the Family, then move on—toward Edwidge Danticat, Anthony Shadid, and Sophia Al-Maria.

The heart of the piece is here, below. The whole can be found here. So many thanks to Ed Nawotka for giving me room to think out loud.

More about memoirs I love, memoir exercises, and Handling the Truth can be found here.
All memoirists travel across the accordion folds of synapses and time. Border-crossing memoirists additionally move back and forth across space — past signposts, over deckled landmasses, into new weather, toward the science of geomorphology. Their points of view are duality inflected. Their vocabularies are exotic and hued. Their ideas about home are perforated and embellished by contrasts, contradictions, and corporeal compromise.
Finally, on a related (sort of matter), I will be in Alexandria, VA, this weekend at Hooray for Books, with the phenomenal Debbie Levy, whose work crosses many borders. We begin at 3:30. Readers and writers are both welcome. We're going to be talking about international books, and about truth and fiction and the line between. Many thanks to Serena, who is helping to spread the word, here


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