If you read this blog regularly, you know I don’t often simply link to an article or blog post. I believe in creating new content. (Or, in the case of Writers’ Roundup, giving you many links to choose from.)
But this Los Angeles Times piece by Dani Shapiro about the making of a memoir was so good I couldn’t resist. Not only is it beautifully written, prompting me to add her book, Slow Motion, to my ever-growing must-read list, Shapiro also offers insight into the art of writing memoir.
A snippet from her column:
I began to sift through my memory to find the shape of the story. This remembering was a delicate alchemy: part archaeology, part forensics and — perhaps the most important part — a powerful creative urge to take that time in my life, those ashes, that sadness and self-destruction, and turn it into something larger and universal. To find the narrative in the tragedy. To make art out of loss.
But what was this art? I discovered that memoir is not a document of fact. It isn’t a linear narrative of what happened so much as a document of the moment in which it is written.
Read the entire article. It’s worth it.