Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 227 pages
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An indispensable book by writers who have experienced firsthand the rewards and challenges of crafting a memoir

 

Anyone undertaking the project of writing a memoir knows that the events, memories, and emotions of the past often resist the orderly structure of a book. Inventing the Truth offers wisdom from nine notable memoirists about their process (Ian Frazier searched through generations of family papers to understand his parents' lives), the hurdles they faced (Annie Dillard tackles the central dilemma of memoir: what to put in and what to leave out), and the unexpected joys of bringing their pasts to the page. Featured authors include Russell Baker on Growing Up; Jill Ker Conway on The Road from Coorain; Annie Dillard on An American Childhood; Ian Frazier on Family; Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Colored Peop≤ Alfred Kazin on A Walker in the City; Frank McCourt on Angela's Ashes; Toni Morrison on Beloved; and Eileen Simpson on Poets in Their Youth.

 

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Inventing the truth: the art and craft of memoir

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Five writers discuss the art of memoir in talks given at the New York Public Library. Each focuses on a corner of life, but one revealing both the person and the world that shaped him or her. Annie ... Read full review

Contents

RUSSELL BAKER
15
Life with Mother
23
JILL KER CONWAY
41
FRANK McCOURT
61
EILEEN SIMPSON
83
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About the author (1998)

William Zinsser is a writer, editior, and teacher. His fifteen books include the classic On Writing Well, which is in the sixth edition, and Writing to Learn. He lives in New York City.

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