Episodia 1.16: How to Structure Your Memoir

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Sometimes memoirists can feel as if we have very few choices about our stories. Bound by truth and memory, we can often conclude there’s not much room for our creative selves to have a say. But here’s a secret—we don’t have to pin down a narrative in the order

The Structure of Trauma

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What is interesting about trauma narratives, despite their abundance, is how writers shape them, allowing their stories to transcend the act of recounting.

The Feminism of Women’s Zen Buddhist Memoirs

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As I’ve read more Buddhist biographies and memoirs, I’ve begun to notice how women seeking spiritual meaning have been forced to endure the added burden of their gender.

Narrative Structures of Diasporic Armenian Trauma

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Multigenerational narratives have become a natural route for Armenian diaspora writers; whereas, the average American consumer can likely approach stories about the Holocaust or Civil War with some prior knowledge, the Armenian genocide requires more grounding, both factual and emotional.

“When You Read These Poems, They’re Yours”: An Interview With Leslie Harrison

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Leslie Harrison’s poems are meditative and thoughtful, yet fleet-footed, quick to change direction. They show us a mind in motion, questing and questioning, wrestling with complex feelings and ideas.

Sonya Huber’s PAIN WOMAN TAKES YOUR KEYS

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On the day I wrote this post, the Columbus Dispatch ran an oversized black and white banner above the fold reading: “Start Living Pain-Free Today.” We see messages like this every day in TV commercials, ads, and across the web, don’t we? Sonya Huber, however, makes the subject of

Memoir as Weapon: On Keyshawn Johnson’s Just Give Me the Damn Ball!

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Under Review: Just Give Me the Damn Ball!: The Fast Times and Hard Knocks of an NFL Rookie by Keyshawn Johnson with Shelley Smith (1997, Warner Books, 216 pages) The Sports Memoir: Choose Your Own Adventure There’s something inherently cathartic about the process of writing a literary memoir. The

Relationship Rescue! Courting Your Long-Lost Writing

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First, a confession: I’m lousy at prioritizing fiction writing. I let everything else in my life take precedence. I even let other writing take precedence—articles, book reviews, syllabi, comments on student work, status updates, replies to all. And yet, good things have happened to the fiction I’ve written. I

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

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In her new memoir, Machado tells a story of abuse that often goes unrecognized, exploring what happens when we don’t have ready narrative models for our experiences.

Writing Grief

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As Naja Marie Aidt goes about the Herculean effort of wrestling with her son’s death, she utilizes a remarkable variety of forms; her grief is expressed not only through the substance of her words, but through the structure of her text.