One of the wise women I am honored to have in my life, Angeles Arrien, recommended this book to me. I found the book thoughtful and provocative, a wonderful distillation of many years of reflection both on the author’s personal story but also on the process of living, reflecting, writing, and transforming. Reading this book, I felt included in Maureen Murdock’s own memoir writing circle. It made me want to join such a circle, which may mean, eventually, starting my own.

The book includes an excellent bibliography at the end, so good that I copied it so that I could put it in my notebook.

I previously reviewed Patti Miller’s The Memoir Book, which was very helpful for genre definition.  Murdock’s book, in contrast, stirred the driving force behind my fascination with memoir–to search beyond the truth of my own life to the mysterious larger truth that links us all to each other.

These three quotations from Murdock may entice you to add the book to your holiday gift suggestion list:

“We are, after all, the only species we know of that reflects upon its memories.”

“For perhaps we are like stones; our own history and the history of the world imbedded in us, we hold a secret deep within and cannot weep until that history is sung.”

“The way we tell our life story is the way we begin to live our lives.”

Shirley Showalter


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