Search This Blog for Authors, Publishers, Reviewers and Books

Add Your Logo or Avatar to This New Book Review Reader List:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Teaching Memoir Reviewed by Author Judi Silva

Title: New Directions In Teaching Memoir: A Studio Workshop Approach
Author(s): Dawn Latta Kirby and Dan Kirby
Publisher: Heinemann
ISBN-10: 0325006687
ISBN-13: 978-0325006680
My Rating - 4 out of 5

Reviewed By Judi Silva

This studio workshop approach for the genre of contemporary memoir is quite interesting, as it is written from the standpoint of the instructor who is teaching a class on writing memoir. Taking a look at the new direction in which the class is being taught, the authors of this book have taken their ideas from those which required a little over a decade to develop and then successfully implemented in classrooms and workshops across the country.

The concept of the book has a dual purpose. It is a “how-to-write” memoir, along with a “how-to-teach” writing memoir. The important tools for both are contained within its 195 pages of instruction, bibliography of memoirs and subsequent index.

The twelve well stocked chapters are broken down into the following: Chapters 1-3 cover background information and exploration in memoir writing. Chapters 4-11 are the meat ... the “how-to” create a memoir of your own. Chapter 12 is the extensive bibliography.

When you have finished this book, you will have learned how to read and write a memoir, along with thinking like a reader and like a writer of memoir. You will be equipped with the valuable tools which assist you in drafting, writing, revising, assembling, tracking, assessing and evaluating your memoir. Reflections and final thoughts round things out.

Various readings from other literary memoirs are cited to give excellent examples of how a memoir “should” read, such as in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Namesake and The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

Charts, key questions and printouts help tremendously with the task at hand. Assembling and presenting your memoir is the best part of the entire project. Experiment with color, fonts and pictures. Be creative. It’s the story of your life. Seeing the finished product which is not only personalized but ready to share with others is very rewarding.

Just a side point, not mentioned in the book - watch the Mira Sorvino starrer Tarentella (1996). In it you will find an interesting example of a memoir, from which you can incorporate some ideas.

Buy New Directions In Teaching Memoir: A Studio Workshop Approach.

Reviewed By Judi Silva
Originally published on Assoicated Content:

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've loved. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by author names, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the index handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

No comments: