The Autobiographer's Handbook The 826 National Guide to Writing Your Memoir

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-09-02
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
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With an introduction by Dave Eggers,this guide by the founders of 826 Valencia features anecdotes and advice from dozens of bestselling memoiristsThe best way to learn about writing a memoir is from the masters of the form. In The Autobiographer's Handbook, dozens of the best memoirists in the world explain their methods, struggles, inspirations, and strategies in the most unique writing guide on the market today.Founded by author Dave Eggers and veteran teacher Nnive Calegari, 826 Valencia operates seven nonprofit writing centers nationwide. Only The Autobiographer's Handbook-the first in a planned series of 826 Valencia writing guides-features the prominent, published authors who have shared their secrets at 826 workshops and who now bring their best advice to the page. Participants include Frank McCourt, Tobias Wolff, A. J. Jacobs, Alison Smith, Art Spiegelman, Anthony Swofford, David Rakoff, Elizabeth Gilbert, Nick Flynn, Sarah Vowell, Steve Almond, and many more.Eggers's introduction encourages all to write their stories, if not for publication, then for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. The book offers lighthearted sidebars ('History's Strangest Actual Memoirs,' 'The Nom de Plume Generator,' and 'Childhood Tragedies Unlikely to Move the Reader') to keep readers engaged and writing assignments to keep them working toward their goal. The Autobiographer's Handbook is like having coffee with dozens of your bestselling memoirist friends (and a drill instructor), and it will be the writing guide for aspiring memoirists of all ages for years to come.

Author Biography

826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco dedicated to supporting students aged six to eighteen with their writing skills. The first center opened in 2002 and since then, more than 10,000 volunteers have donated their time, with 826 centers springing up in New York, L.A., Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Seattle; 826 Boston will open in the fall of 2007. All proceeds from this book will benefit the 826 centers.

Jennifer Traig, a longtime 826 tutor and workshop teacher, is the author of two memoirs—the forthcoming Well Enough Alone and Devil in the Details (2004). She holds a Ph.D. in literature, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, JANE, The Observer (London), and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
The Brain Trustp. 11
Meeting Your Musep. 21
Precursors to the Pastp. 37
You vs. Page Onep. 53
Lines, Curves, and Tangentsp. 69
Methods for Movementp. 91
Trimming the Factp. 103
Memories May Differp. 113
You Contain Multitudesp. 137
Getting the Jokep. 145
Writing through Painp. 151
The Facts vs. the Truthp. 157
Lost in the Labyrinthp. 169
The End of You (For Now)p. 175
Getting It Out Therep. 181
Bonus Chapter: From the Mind, to the Internet, to the Book, to Youp. 201
Conclusionp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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