Why We Write About Ourselves by Meredith Maran

Review :

The range of writers in this collection is impressive. There were some old favorites of mine and a few who were more or less new to me (I won't say which so I don't expose my own ignorance, immediately breaking a law of memoir writing...). The writers reflect on their own experience and give advice to those trying to write memoirs. And of course, they contradict each other. They have completely different paths to memoir-writing and give different advice. They have different opinions about how to do it best, what is more or less important in life than writing. So it's like the Bible. No matter who you are or what you're trying to write, you'll be able to find inspiration and justification in here. And those who disagree with you will, too.

There are a few things they agree on, though. That writing is tough, and the good memoirs arise out of discomfort or pain. That shitty first drafts are important (and yes, Ann Lamott's is the best... of course it is...). That there's a big big big difference between a memoir and a diary. That they don't regret writing a memoir, however painful or wonderful it was.

If you love writers and writing, go on and read it. It will be time well-invested.

I got a free copy of this from First to Read.


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