Thinking About Memoir

Thinking About Memoir

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by Abigail Thomas
     
 

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If living is an art, it must be practiced with diligence before being done with ease. Yet almost nothing in our culture prepares us for reflection on the great themes of existence: courage, friendship, listening, dignity—those everyday virtues that can transform our world. Because AARP believes it’s never too late (or too early) to learn, they,… See more details below

Overview


If living is an art, it must be practiced with diligence before being done with ease. Yet almost nothing in our culture prepares us for reflection on the great themes of existence: courage, friendship, listening, dignity—those everyday virtues that can transform our world. Because AARP believes it’s never too late (or too early) to learn, they, together with Sterling Publishing, have created the About Living series to address these crucial issues. Each entry will be written by only the best authors and thinkers.
Thinking About Memoir, the first of these volumes, helps adults look back at their past and use writing as a means of figuring out who they used to be and how they became who they are today. It’s written by Abigail Thomas, whose own memoir A Three Dog Life was selected as one of the Best Books of 2006 by the LA Times and the Washington Post and called “perfectly honed” (Newsweek), “bracingly honest” (Vanity Fair), and “stunning” by the Los Angeles Book Review. Thomas writes that memoir can consist of looking back at a single summer or the span of a whole life. Through her experience as a writing teacher, she knows how difficult that can be; this book is about the habit of writing as a way to keep track of what’s going on in the front and the back of your mind. It inspires different ways for us to look at the moment we’re in right now and will help would-be memoirists find their own “side door” into a subject. Thomas writes eloquently about how to get started and find that jumping-off point for your work, and provides exercises that liberate our creativity, enable us to get the distance and perspective we need, and open our eyes to possibilities that may not at first seem obvious.
Whether your words are for publication, for your loved ones, or for you alone, Thomas makes the process fulfilling, thoughtful, and even fun.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This book, part memoir and part how-to, promotes the idea that writing helps us capture our past in order to live more meaningfully in the present. Thomas, author of the memoir Three Dog Life, daughter of physician and essayist Lewis Thomas, and a writing teacher, offers glimpses of her own life as she encourages readers to write about theirs. She devotes a chapter to the benefits of memoir writing, then offers suggestions on how to make writing a habit. One way is to carry a notebook so that one can constantly write down thoughts and activities. In the chapter on memory, she explores some of her own, revealing details about her husband's car crash and resulting traumatic brain injury. Also, she points out the role of scent in recalling past events. In her case, the characteristic medicinal smell of Noxema brings back memories of her adolescence. The overall effect is motivation and inspiration. She makes memoir writing seem a worthwhile, achievable goal by introducing thought-provoking exercises such as "Write two pages about what you no longer find funny" and "What waits in ambush?" This first volume in the "Arts of Living" series from AARP will appeal to would-be writers and those wishing to encourage their own creativity and live more intensely. Recommended for large public collections.
—Nancy R. Ives

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402772771
Publisher:
Sterling
Publication date:
01/25/2010
Series:
AARP
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
286,534
File size:
0 MB

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