Jo Ann Beard Archive
“When I was a teacher, death always lingered in the back of my mind.”
I have been most moved by writing that tells a story in fragments, often ones that are weighted with emotion and significance to the life of the narrator. Only after each fragment has been picked up, polished, and assembled in place, jagged edge to jagged edge, does the meaning
The scenes in my fiction that worry me the most, that I go over and over and that cause me no end of doubt, are the big, emotional moments. Falling in love. Getting dumped. The death of a loved one.
Octavia Butler said, “All good things must begin.” And lucky for us, they do. But “all good things must come to an end,” too.
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