Let It Bleed: How to Write a Rockin’ Memoir

Pamela Des Barres. TarcherPerigee, $18 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-17420-9
Devotees of 1970s rock ’n’ roll are the most likely to be familiar with Des Barres (One Night Band), the so-called “Queen of the Groupies,” but even the uninitiated should find her latest book an energetic, surefire way to flex one’s writing muscles. Des Barres, a longtime diarist, found bestseller status with her 1987 debut memoir, I’m with the Band, and for the past 16 years has taught writing workshops aimed at women who write nonfiction. For those who can’t attend, this book is a worthy substitute. Des Barres begins with baby-step suggestions (keep a journal, read a lot) and then launches into a review of mechanics. After that, she gets readers’ memories and imaginations working overtime with 12-minute writing exercises. Des Barres frequently includes her own responses, as well as excerpts, some better than others, from her students, followed by brief critiques. Assignment topics range from the innocuous (parenting moments) to racier “true confessions,” making for some jarring transitions. The book is at once encouraging and instructive, a valuable tool for helping writers of all levels discover heretofore untapped material within themselves. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 04/25/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Audio Product - 978-1-5247-0474-2
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