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Friday, May 5 • 2:15pm - 3:45pm
3L: Life Isn’t A Book Structure: Strategies for Shaping Memoir FILLING
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Even the wildest life, recounted straightforwardly from memory, will suffer from what Sven Birkerts calls “the coma-inducing effect of ‘and then.’” Good memoirists know this. So they reach into literature’s bag of tricks and find other ways to keep the pages turning: they speed time up in some places and slow it down in others; they layer two or more thread; or perhaps they find a structure that helps evoke the book’s meaning. All these considerations are part of shifting from thinking about your life as a life to thinking about the book as a book. But how can aspiring memoirists ready themselves to make that leap? In this session we’ll discuss strategies and approaches, as well as break down the choices made by a few published memoirists as they turned memory into literature. As time permits, we’ll do a few exercises to help free you to do the same with your own material, turning life into art.

avatar for Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, which will be published by Flatiron Books (Macmillan) in May 2017. It is also forthcoming from publishers internationally. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow and Rona Jaffe Award recipient, she has twice been a fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo. Her essays appear in The New York Times, Oxford American, Iowa Review, and many other publications, and were recognized as... Read More →

Friday May 5, 2017 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Beacon Hill Room