a Handling review, a Handling teleconference, a memoir conference, and introducing Jesmyn Ward and Terry McMillan
Thursday, September 19, 2013
“Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir” by National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart may seem targeted to the writer of memoir. But the subtitle is more encompassing. We are right to expand the scope of the book’s target market to include all students of memoir. Any fan — writer or reader — is going to appreciate “Handling the Truth,” where many of our questions are addressed.—Rae Padilla Francoeur
Thank you, Serena Agusto-Cox, for letting me know.
While I'm here, I'd like to share my excitement over two things happening within the next 24 or so hours, and one thing that will happen next month.
First, I'll be at the Free Library of Philadelphia this evening, introducing National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and mega-bestseller Terry McMillan—an event that will surely be glorious. Details are here. Join us if you can.
Second, tomorrow I'll be having a tele-conversation with Linda Joy Myers, a memoir expert, writer, teacher, and founder/president of the National Association of Memoir Writers. Linda Joy is a joy—I know this for sure, because of our many conversations, and because she took the time to meet me a few short weeks ago, when I was in Northern California. Here are the details on our forthcoming conversation; we'd love for you to join us.
Third, I know that, once you listen to Linda, you'll be incredibly happy to know that you, too, can meet her in person, when she comes to the Memoir Festival at Rosemont College, on October 20, the details about which are here. I'll be there as well, as well as Robert Waxler and Jerry Waxler.
But first things first. A few words about Linda and tomorrow. Hope to "see" you there.
On Friday of this week I’ll be having a conversation with someone who is very special in the memoir world—someone all of you know well. Linda Joy Myers didn’t just open her heart to me when she heard I’d written a book about the making of memoir, she opened this NAMW world—inviting me into a dialogue, talking with me about stories and how they get made, arranging for our teleconference, and turning anticipatory tweets in the art of haiku. In just a few short days, we will take that conversational leap of faith and talk to each other about the many things that preoccupy us both in the making of memoir. How we capture what we love. How we protect those whom we cherish. Why we cannot write if we do not read, and read widely. What happens when the truth is bruised, when trust is shattered.
Linda has been teaching memoir for a very long time to a wide range of people. I have been teaching to small classrooms of undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania. We have so much we’re eager to share, and we hope you will join us.
Not long ago, I was standing near Fulton Street in New York City, watching the sun go down on the Brooklyn Bridge. Not far from me were these trapeze artists—or beginning trapeze artists—daring themselves to take a leap, trusting another to catch them. That, I thought, is how writing feels. No matter how many books in, no matter how much we think we know.
We’ll talk about that, too, come Friday.