Inventing the Truth – William Zinsser (ed.)

Inventing the Truth is comprised of a collection of essays that address the art and craft of memoir by authors such as Annie Dillard, Frank McCourt, and Toni Morrison. I found many of the essays to be helpful in their offering of advice on writing memoir. Many discuss the author’s evolutionary writing process; their research techniques; the length of time to complete their memoirs; and how they dealt with writing about people close to them that were still living (some asked permission and offered to take out anything disagreeable, others avoided writing about the living altogether). In the back of the book is a bibliography of important books to Zinsser and to each of the authors in their writing journey. This is an invaluable resource for any writer. I was inspired by the wide variety of approaches to writing memoir included in this collection of essays. It gave me a greater understanding of how important it is to do the research and then develop my own approach. I also learned a great deal about organizing my research and writing which I have already begun to put into practice.

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