Your Life As Story: Discovering the "New Autobiography" and Writing Memoir As Literature

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Jeremy P. Tarcher Incorporated, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 353 pages
19 Reviews
Blending literary scholarship with practical coaching on how to craft short or long life narratives, Rainer traces the history of autobiography from Egyptian inscriptions through its recent evolution on the bestseller lists. Aided by examples from such writers as Maya Angelou, Russell Baker, Richard Rodriguez, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mikal Gilmore, and Carolyn See, among others, Rainer demonstrates how to write character portraits, how to remember what you thought you had forgotten, how to unify a story with thematic conflict, how to write scenes with dialogue and employ other fictional devices, how to use humor and perspective, and how to move through time. The author shares her remarkable techniques for finding the essentials of story structure within your life's scattered experiences. She also shows that autobiography need not be a linear, heroic quest, but may be assembled like a quilt, the pattern gradually emerging.

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Excellent text on writing your life story. - Goodreads
The writing is engaging, and she gives great examples. - Goodreads
I will use it often as a reference book. - Goodreads

Review: Your Life as Story

User Review  - Sylvia Valevicius - Goodreads

Excellent reference book for people whose intention it is to write a memoir or autobiography. Lots of good examples from other works. I was happy to recognize and relate to many of the writers to ... Read full review

Review: Your Life as Story

User Review  - Linda - Goodreads

Full of suggestions. I will use it often as a reference book. Read full review

About the author (1998)

Tristine Rainer is the director of the Center for Autobiographic Studies in Pasadena, California. She teaches autobiographic writing at the University of California Los Angeles and at the University of Southern California.

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