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MEMOIR: How I Read, Write and Use It
     

MEMOIR: How I Read, Write and Use It

by Helen Epstein
 
This is an essay for students of memoir. Making meaning in writing memoir is similar to creating narrative in psychotherapy. What differentiates memoir from that work is the public nature of the literary product, its aim to document fact, elucidate memory, separate it from fantasy as far as possible and render lived rather than imagined experience. In addition to

Overview

This is an essay for students of memoir. Making meaning in writing memoir is similar to creating narrative in psychotherapy. What differentiates memoir from that work is the public nature of the literary product, its aim to document fact, elucidate memory, separate it from fantasy as far as possible and render lived rather than imagined experience. In addition to literary and healing qualities, memoirs serve a crucial historical role. As the Polish poet and memoirist Czeslaw Milosz writes: "Unless we can relate it to ourselves personally, history will always be more or less of an abstraction…. every family archive that perishes, ever account book that is burnt, reinforces classifications and ideas at the expense of reality…."

Product Details

BN ID:
2940011804816
Publisher:
Plunkett Lake Press
Publication date:
10/02/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
12 KB

Meet the Author

Helen Epstein is the author of six books of literary non-fiction including the two memoirs Children of the Holocaust and Where She Came From: A Daughter's Search for her Mother's History and the biography Joe Papp: An American Life. All three books were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year.

Her other works are Music Talks: The Lives of Classical Musicians; Tina Packer Builds a Theater; Meyer Schapiro: Portrait of an Art Historian; Memoir: How I Read, Write and Use It; The Shakespeare & Company Actor Training Experience; Ice Cream Man: 25 Years at Toscanini's in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and her translation of Heda Kovaly's classic memoir Under A Cruel Star. Her book on memoir, Ecrire La Vie, was published in 2009 by La Cause des Livres (Paris).

Born in Prague in 1947, Helen grew up in New York City, where she graduated from Hunter College High School in 1965. She became a journalist after the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968 when her personal account was published in the Jerusalem Post.

In 1971, Helen graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and began freelancing for diverse publications including the New York Times where her first Magazine cover story on freelance musician Ed Birdwell ran in 1974. Her profiles of legendary musicians such as Vladimir Horowitz, Leonard Bernstein and Yo-Yo Ma are collected in Music Talks.

She began teaching journalism at New York University in 1974 and became the first woman in the journalism department to be awarded tenure. In 1986, she left NYU to move to the Boston area. She has an active speaking career and has lectured at a wide variety of venues including universities in Europe, North and South America; health organizations; high schools; synagogues, libraries and churches; the United States Military Academy at West Point; the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the U.S. Holocaust Museum. The mother of two grown sons, Helen shuttles between the Berkshires and the Boston area with her husband and blogs about the arts for www.theartsfuse.com

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