It is known in all writing and literary circles, in order to become a better writer, one must read other authors. Not only do they help you with your own writing, they provide you with choices as to how you write your autobiography or memoir. I have provided you with a list of memoirs that all have their own personality as well as style and structure. If you know what your vision is for your book, but need help deciding on which memoir to read for ideas, give me a call or send me an email.
Mary Karr – The Liars’ Club – ISBN: 0-670-85053-5
Karr writes a very humorous and passionate story about growing up with a mother who is mentally off and the relationship between her and her father. The story is very engaging. It will have you laughing and crying, sometimes, all at the same time.
Vivian Gornick – Fierce Attachments – ISBN: 978-0-374-52996-3
This story is about Gornick’s relationship with her mother when living in the Bronx. Gornick is an expert in providing descriptive details. You can’t but get lost in the story with the amount of descriptive details she uses. It is beautifully written.
Eileen Julien – Travels with Mae: Scenes from a New Orleans Childhood
This memoir feels more like an autobiography. There are beautiful images throughout. Each chapter is a story in itself and she gives the reader a small taste of what living in New Orleans was all about for the middle age African American woman in the 50’s and 60’s.
Margaret Jones Bolsteri – Born in the Delta: Reflections on the Making of a Southern White Semsibility – ISBN: 1-55728-616-7
Bolsteri provides historical facts about living in the delta. Her writing is engaging as well as informative. If you’ve ever been interested in learning about the South in the era of slavery, this is a good book to read.
Elizabeth J. Andrew – Swinging on the Garden Gate – ISBN: 1-55896-409-6
Andrew uses beautiful detailed descriptions and scintillating self-reflection. She is effective in writing a spiritual memoir that is worthy of sitting on a bookshelf in a personal library. She clearly understands how to not only engage her reader, but how to engage herself with her own personal story. Andrew also has written a guide for writing spiritual memoir. It is listed on Resources.
Kim Chernin – In My Father’s Garden – ISBN: 1-56512-100-7
Chernin’s story is unique in that she reflects upon growing up in a Communist household where her mother eventually gets arrested and her father maintains a low profile, working in his garden. Being raised by two extreme diverse personalities, Chernin’s evolution into a belief in the divine is done with grace and clarity.