Magical Memoir Moments

Dialogue and Memoir: A Challenge, A Method, and Two Mentors

Like 497, 651 other people, I have “liked” David Sedaris on Facebook. You can too, if you click on his name. You can help his PR people to say he has half a million FB fans. Wow! Recently an interview with Sedaris appeared on his page that reminded me of something I am struggling with…

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John Lithgow's New Memoir — Drama: An Actor's Education

Sometimes a memoir knocks you over even before you read all of it. Such is the case with John Lithgow’s Drama: An Actor’s Education. I’ve read about it, listened to the author, and read a chapter of it at the Diane Rehm Show website. Lithgow, who lives in New York, has made the rounds of the…

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I Am Hutterite: A Lovely Memoir from the Canadian Prairie

I probably wouldn’t have found this book if it hadn’t been on sale at the Green Valley Book Fair, a huge book warehouse located close to Harrisonburg, VA. The hardcover price is 19.99, but at the Book Fair it was $5.00. Ach yommer, a bargain! I’m sure the author, who grew up Hutterite, would approve…

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Leon Fleisher's Memoir My Nine Lives: Reviewed by Beverly K. Lapp

Introducing Beverly K. Lapp, Associate Professor of Music at Goshen College. Bev came into my life first as a student at Goshen College, then as a faculty colleague. She writes as well as she plays piano and teaches–which is saying a lot. Enjoy her review below. Fleisher, L. & Midgette, A. (2010). My nine lives: A…

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The Sound of Rain on a Corrugated Iron Roof: Another Lanie Tankard Review

Our popular guest blogger Lanie Tankard has reviewed a pre-publication copy of One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir   by Binyavanga Wainaina Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press (July 19, 2011) Reviewed by Lanie Tankard Binyavanga Wainaina busts clichés about Africa in his memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, due…

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Judith Barrington's Writing the Memoir: A Sophisticated Guide

Judith Barrington, memoirist and poet, has established a reputation as an excellent teacher and workshop leader. Her book Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art has become a well-known text in academic courses. When more than two professors recommended the book, I decided to buy it. I’m glad I did. Barrington selects some of the…

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Emma: A Widow Among the Amish–A Son's Perspective

Since my own memoir focuses on growing up Mennonite, I have read a number of Mennonite and Amish memoirs and reviewed them here, here, and here. Ervin Stutzman, the current executive director of the Mennonite Church USA, gave himself an interesting memoir challenge: “How can I write the story that includes my own life (described…

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Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein: A Year-of-Memorizing Memoir

Meet Joshua Foer, a 28-year-old whose first book, Moonwalking with Einstein, reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s books–quirky, researched subjects with personal and other anecdotes sprinkled generously through out. Moonwalking actually fits another memoir subcategory: the year-of-memoir. In these memoirs the author sets aside a year to do something and then details the results. Examples abound–The…

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Bird Cloud: A Memoir Reviewed by Lanie Tankard

Constructing a House, Deconstructing a Life By now you know that when Lanie Tankard pens a guest post review of a memoir, you want to read the review whether or not you read the book! Bird Cloud: A Memoir by Annie Proulx (New York: Scribner, January 2011) Reviewed by Lanie Tankard Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie…

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An Amish Memoir: Saloma Miller Furlong's Story of Why She Left

Saloma Miller Furlong has an amazing story. The little Amish girl on the cover of her memoir and the Smith College graduate on the back cover represent two worlds. These two photos illustrate a life journey that has covered, so far, a relatively short distance in time and space, but a huge one in world…

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