Tag Archives: Memoir

Memoir: From Reality to Reality

Laughing Penguins

A memoir is often seen as a single-dimensional ‘truth’ about a writer, the writer’s self-expression or confession. A memoir, in in fact, is the writer’s perception of truth, and her need to express that perception in her chosen format.

And so, a memoir is the writer’s journey from reality of lived experience to the reality of ‘worded’ impressions.

There are things in a writer’s life that present themselves unasked, uninvited, right there at her desk; then there are moments that demand the writer’s focused attention to reveal themselves; finally there are faraway wraiths of memories that desperately seek writerly resolve, and vital emotional effort to divulge their core and deepest essence. This is the truth; so is that; and so is that.

On the other side, a reader of a memoir fixes her gaze on a single familiar face: this is what she thought, this is where she ate and…

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#IndieAuthor Friday Allen Long #Memoirs

Books and Such

It’s Friday!!!!!  Today’s indie author is Allen Long, here with his memoir, Less ThanHuman.  It’s received positive reviews, with one Amazon reviewer stating the ‘….writing style is unique in that in draws the reader in, tells of sadness experienced by the author, but has an undertone of triumph and joy.’

“In Less than Human,” Allen Long tells the story of his often nightmarish childhood in the wealthy suburbs of D.C., the wonders and mysteries of teenage love, his ill-advised journeys into corporate America and a hellish marriage, and ultimate breakdown. And yet, his story is mostly one of triumph. He draws strength from the joys of fatherhood, he finds true love in his second marriage, and through working with psychotherapists and leading a life rich in self-examination, he overcomes both child abuse and the resulting PTSD, finally learning that instead of being less than… he is, indeed… human.

“Less than…

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A long way home by Saroo Brierley

rrlreads

Amy A Long Way HomeNot the most beautifully written, A Long Way Home is an extraordinary story of a very small, lost, boy holding tight to his memories, being supported by his adoptive parents and using technology methodically and painstakingly to find his family. It is uplifting and hopeful, if not very revealing of personality.

Find in library

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Writing Reviews

T. R. Robinson Publications

adult-2242164_1280Though this discussion will concentrate upon the writing of book reviews, many of the principles will apply equally to the writing of reviews for other products.

Who reviews are for and what readers would like to gain from them has been previously discussed in Reviews – What Wanted? This discussion is intended to enlarge upon the theme, especially with regard to the elements of a review.

It must be acknowledged, for many, particularly those not accustomed to writing, preparing a review may prove a daunting prospect. Some may also find the degree of responsibility that comes with writing a review (to get the facts right and to represent the work fairly) uncomfortable.

There are three parts to this discussion: Why some readers do not write reviews; What a review should include; The presentation of a review.

Why do readers NOT write a review?

Prior to considering the possible…

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Why I prefer nonfiction over fiction

Sarahbeth Caplin

35244821086_e8236a33a9_z1-300x200Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of becoming the next great American novelist. I have published a few novels, and yet none of them are quite as dear to my heart as my two memoirs. I realized something critical about myself the more I’ve devoted myself to nonfiction writing (mostly about the intersection of faith and politics): I’m not very good at making things up.

If there’s anything I’ve learned during my time as a graduate student of creative nonfiction, it’s that memoir writing, and even literary essays, can follow a story arc similar to what you’ll find in fiction: there is a beginning, a development of conflict, a set of characters (even if the only character is the writer herself), a middle, and a resolution. Like fiction, nonfiction doesn’t require a neat, tidy ending. But a decisive finishing point is required just the same.

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How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

Cumberland Regional HS Media Center

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana. May 16, 2017. Katherine Tegen Books, 304 p. ISBN: 9780062470140.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA; Lexile: 790.

In this powerful memoir, Sandra Uwiringyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, tells the incredible true story of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism.

Sandra Uwiringiyimana was just ten years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. The rebels had come at night—wielding weapons, torches, machetes. She watched as her mother and six-year-old sister were gunned down in a refugee camp, far from their home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The rebels were killing people who weren’t from the same community, the same tribe. In other words, they were killing people simply for looking different.

“Goodbye, life,” she said to…

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (YA)

Reviews, Recommendations, Lists!

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming has become one of my favourite books of all time!

The memoir centers around Jacqueline Woodson’s early life growing up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. Written in verse form, Woodson shares her experiences of being born in Ohio, and growing up between South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York, and trying to find her identity and place in the world. Each page is a short poem about an experience from her life or the history of her family or the events that were occurring at that moment in time. The poems are simple, emotionally charged, and beautiful. This is not a difficult read at all.

The reason this novel has become a favourite is because there are aspects of Woodson’s life that I can relate to, especially the struggle to fit into two places that she calls home…

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The Glass Castle Movie: A Review

Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you think?

cultcrumbs

Hello, everyone! More than a year ago, I wrote a review of Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle, which I praised for being a straight-forward recollection of Walls’ neglectful and border-line abusive childhood. While the film adaptation, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton of Short Term 12, is a lovingly made, often touching film, it doesn’t carry the same boldness of its source material. Neither work points fingers, but Cretton’s adaptation tries to find forgiveness in a story that doesn’t deserve it. In trying to force a sappy happy ending, Cretton turns a blunt, complex memoir into a boilerplate Hollywood sob story.

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