Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir

William Knowlton Zinsser, Editor, William Knowlton Zinsser, Photographer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16.95 (172p) ISBN 978-0-395-44526-6
Russell Baker, in writing his memoirs, left out a principal characterhis motherin the first draft. After much torment, he realized that ""although nobody's life makes any sense . . . you might as well make it into a story.'' The six essays in this symposium explore the craft of memoir, defined here as a portion of a life, narrower in scope than autobiography. Annie Dillard argues that the best memoirs forge their own forms. Toni Morrison describes how slave narratives have influenced her work. New York's streets gave Alfred Kazin ``physical images, straight from the belly,'' which he shaped into his self-portrait, A Walker in the City. Lewis Thomas weaves reflections on human adaptability, memory and evolution. In his introductory essay, Zinsser discusses why a good memoir is also a work of history, capturing a distinctive moment in the life of a society. (September 23)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Paperback - 172 pages - 978-0-395-48371-8
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