Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art by Judith Barrington

This book covers the basics of writing memoir. The first section includes “teaching boxes” that are great for quick reference when writing. Topics in these boxes include voice, first person, and narrative. The book also includes suggestions for writing at the end of each chapter which are a great way to get your creative mind flowing and to practice what Barrington discusses in each chapter. Barrington addresses what memoir is; the all-consuming question many memoir writers obsess over: Who Cares?; finding form for your memoir; the law and writing memoir; and a discussion on truth which is a very important debate among memoir writers. My favorite section is on the writers’ myth which includes the belief that one must be depressed or suffering from some sort of addiction in order write. Also addressed in this section is the belief that in order to write a memoir you must already be famous or know someone who is famous (something I have personally worried about). The end of the book includes an Index to Authors and Titles that is a fantastic reference for additional reading. I recommend this to any writer working on memoir. Even experienced writers can benefit from what Barrington has to say about the memoir writing process and the suggestions for writing she includes at the end of each chapter.

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