I like memoirs. One of my favorites is this one by Jonathan Raban, and this one by Larry McMurtry, which is not really a memoir so much as a travel book, is lovely as well. I've mentioned the book, Men For the Mountains and its author Sid Marty in a previous post. And one of my favorites of the genre is Family, by Ian Frazier. Not to mention some of Frederick Buechner's and Kathleen Norris' books that really are memoirs dressed up as something else.

So I'll need to get involved with a couple of the memoirs mentioned in this story at NPR. Incidentally, I share Nancy Pearl's opinion that there are too many memoirs out there (though there are not enough good ones). A good memoir is not only well written but has a story that touches your own somehow, even though it remains personal to the author. I've always felt that writing well actually requires a good degree of selflessness, of humility. But I'll leave that soapbox for another time.

Especially intriguing to me among the books Pearl mentions: "Floyd Skloot's In the Shadow of Memory is a collection of essays detailing Skloot's experience of losing his memory after being infected by a virus. Gracefully written, the book also chronicles Skloot's struggle to regain memories lost to the illness." (quoted from the story page at NPR).

In the portion of the audio story pertaining to Skloot's book, Nancy Pearl says,

"This is a book that is so gracefully written... I wondered, I don't see how his dementia, his brain damage, has had any impact on him as a writer and then he says in the book that each essay in the book took him between a year and two years to write."
If you are into memoirs like I am, perhaps we'll find some good ones in Pearl's list. If not, then read something else, but by all means...read!

Jannotti tag: writing
Posted to: writing

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