“Memory resides in specific details, not in abstract notions like ‘beautiful’ or ‘angry.'”

A Fine Line

BarringtonWho better to write a book about writing memoirs than Judith Barrington? She can speak from experience as an author and teacher. In this book, which is widely used in college courses and has sold more than 100,000 copies, she speaks to those who “aspire to the highest literary standards.” Rather than simply providing suggestions for topics to write about, she describes, for example, the three elements that memoirs should have: scenes, summaries, and musings. She urges people to find the integrity of the story. Because the way we remember things changes over time, she advises aiming for honesty.

Judith Barrington, Writing the Memoir: A practical guide to the craft, the personal challenges, and ethical dilemmas of writing your true stories, Second Edition (Portland, Oregon, The Eighth Mountain Press, 2002), p.  116.

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