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Writing the Memoir

Writing the Memoir Since Writing the Memoir came out in early it has sold roughly copies and is consistently praised as the best book on memoir out there It is thought provoking explanatory and practical e

  • Title: Writing the Memoir
  • Author: Judith Barrington
  • ISBN: 9780933377509
  • Page: 461
  • Format: Paperback
  • Since Writing the Memoir came out in early 1997 it has sold roughly 80,000 copies and is consistently praised as the best book on memoir out there It is thought provoking, explanatory, and practical each chapter ends with writing exercises It covers everything from questions of truth and ethics to questions of craft and the crucial retrospective voice An appendix proSince Writing the Memoir came out in early 1997 it has sold roughly 80,000 copies and is consistently praised as the best book on memoir out there It is thought provoking, explanatory, and practical each chapter ends with writing exercises It covers everything from questions of truth and ethics to questions of craft and the crucial retrospective voice An appendix provides information on legal issues.Judith Barrington, an award winning memoir writer and acclaimed writing teacher, is attuned to the forces, both external and internal, that work to stop a writer her tone is respectful of the difficulties and encouraging of taking risks Her nimble prose, her deep belief in the importance of this genre, and her delight in the rich array of memoirists writing today make this book than the typical how to creative writing book In this second edition the author has added new material and reflects on issues raised since Writing the Memoir was written, early in the memoir boom No student of memoir writing could fail to learn from this wise, pragmatic, and confiding book One hears on every page the voice of an intelligent and responsive teacher, with years of thinking about memoir behind her Vivian GornickJudith Barrington is the author of Lifesaving A Memoir and numerous individual memoirs which have been published in literary magazines and anthologies She is the author of three volumes of poetry Trying to Be an Honest Woman, History and Geography, and Horses and the Human Soul forthcoming in 2002 She has taught creative writing for the past twenty years.

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    1 thought on “Writing the Memoir

    1. I decided to get serious about writing a memoir a few months ago. It's been a long time coming, but I feel now is the time. As usual, I research the best of the best of books before buying them. I would rather take the time to study a book and its author than waste time reading one that won't benefit me in some way. I'm so glad I did so with this book. The author did a fine job explaining the memoir and how to effectively write one.I found most helpful the topics of: voice, legal issues, and how [...]

    2. I read this book in a couple of days and found it to be incredibly helpful. I intend on writing memoir for my dissertation in creative writing next semester at university and was looking for some guidelines and tools to assist me, this book has it all. Barrington takes the reader step by step through the process of memoir writing and highlights the do's and dont's in each informative chapter. Her greatest piece of advice is to read, read, read as many memoirs as possible prior to the task. This [...]

    3. Every writer should read this book. It will put an end to your creative blocks and help you remove the mental obstacles that are keeping you from telling your story, and we all have them. It also contains very practical advice about structure, memoir form and how to weave between flashbacks and the present day without confusing the heck out of your reader. I read it in one day and it'll help me for years.

    4. By no means is this an exhaustive review of everything you need to know about writing memoir, but it’s a very good overview. It’s a succinct read, filled with excellent examples, and covers about 95% of the information every memoirist wants to know when setting out on their first manuscript. I would have liked a meatier book, but I had no compunction with the material that was included. It’s heavily highlighted and I have a lot of notes, too — a good marker (no pun intended) of success!

    5. i skimmed this book. It was worth it for these two chapters alone: FIVE: Scene, Summary, and MusingSIX: Moving Around TimeEverything else was was meh. Grab the book from the library and dig into to the two chapters above. You'll learn a lot.

    6. A short but very nicely written book about writing memoirs. I read this as part of a creative writing course that I took with an eye toward writing some memoirs of my own. The advice provided by Barrington is clear and straightforward, yet also insightful.

    7. This was helpful in that it gave great writing prompts and helped motivate me in my writing. However, it felt a little basic for where I'm at, personally.

    8. I don't write memoirs myself, but I found this to be a clear and useful writing guide in general, and a good look at an interesting genre.

    9. This book covers the basics of writing memoir. The first section includes “teaching boxes” that are great for quick reference when writing. Topics in these boxes include voice, first person, and narrative. The book also includes suggestions for writing at the end of each chapter which are a great way to get your creative mind flowing and to practice what Barrington discusses in each chapter. Barrington addresses what memoir is; the all-consuming question many memoir writers obsess over: Who [...]

    10. What I most like about this book is it answers the question, why write a memoir. Judith Barrington offers many examples of creative uses of the memoir genre in aid of this question. She also offers good advice about how to get started via specific exercises that target the major features of the memoir including:- thoughtful evaluation of a situation- the role of time- how to focus the structure of a memoir based on theme- voice and narrative style.I'm a beginner to the memoir so I find this very [...]

    11. Excellent book with relevant advice on how to tackle the emotional and technical aspects of writing one's life story. Her examples are useful and the layout of the book is easy on the eyes. Her writing style and voice are forthright but not forceful; she encourages the reader to look within him/herself to find their own way while providing structure one might find in a writing course. Very good chapter on finding truth in memoir, as well. I found it to be one of the better books on memoir writin [...]

    12. I had heard a couple different people recommend this book as a good aid in creative nonfiction writing. I recently picked it up from the library with the hopes of flipping through it to gain some practical writing advice. I ended up reading the book straight through from cover to cover. The information was helpful, and easy to understand. It’s probably repeat information for anyone who has studied writing, but for beginners like myself, it’s a great book!

    13. Another Racine library book. Good reading, useful advice. Exercises were basic and obvious. Her POV is lesbian, but that doesn't influence the book much. I learned a lot about writing.Will use my notes for further reference. Quite sufficient. The book encouraged me to write in the memoir style.

    14. This is the first book I've read on writing memoir, so I can't compare it to anything else. There probably are better books on the subject out there, but this is definitely a good choice to get started. It contains exercises and also an appendix discussing legal aspects to consider if you ever plan on publishing your work.

    15. A very helpful text on how to go about writing a memoir. Because it had been a while since I had done any serious writing, I decided to use Barrington's advice to "oil the hinges." I studied each chapter step by step, doing every recommended exercise, before I settled down to write my South African memoir, LIONGOLD.

    16. Excellent book on the writing of memoir including sections at the end of each chapter that provide exercises for the reader/aspiring writer. Well worth reading if you are interested in memoir writing - especially if you are looking for exercises to practice the craft.

    17. I really enjoyed how readable this book was. Many of my textbooks were not readable at all but this one is. I learned a lot about the writing process. It also answered the question, why write a memoir. I felt that it really helped draw out my creativity. One of the only textbooks I kept.

    18. As I investigate the writing of my memoir, this book set the stage for a grounding step to a much better understanding of my options. Very helpful in finding the form in which I will be able to begin my story.

    19. I'm using this for the class I'm teaching in July. And I'm using it now, as I write my own Memoir. I especially appreciate the reader's approach--she gives us examples to read as she describes techniques.

    20. This is an excellent tool for the memoirist. Being new to this format I found that Judith Barrington brought a great persepective to this new genre for me. I will return and work dilagently on the writing exercises in all of my spare time.

    21. This book is down-to-earth and concise. It offers tons of advice for the aspiring writer, but it does not overwhelm with information. Some of the writing exercise seem geared more toward beginning writers, but, overall, it is a great jumping-off point for writers of any ability.

    22. Loved this book! Barrington gives some excellent instruction on how to write a memoir well. She explains about telling your truth and expands on how to use develop the sense of detail. As a bonus she also includes some writing excercises. Great book for memoir writers to pick up.

    23. I got a few very helpful tidbits, but this book is geared more toward the beginning or hobby writer than the professional.

    24. Not sure what I think of this yet. I'm going to read another memoir-writing book before I really judge this one.

    25. Most helpful for me, who will be teaching a Creative Nonfiction class in the Fall, were chapters 5 (Scene, Summary and Musing) and chapter 12 (Getting Feedback on Your Work).

    26. I really liked it and it is also a quick read. It had very helpful information about writing the memoir and how you should proceed forward with doing it.

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