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Conversations and Craft

Marjorie Simmins

260 pages
Nimbus Publishing

Memoir opens doors we could never ordinarily walk through—into the lives of Olympians, queens, victims of war and other tragedies, teenage rock stars, former streetwalkers or geishas—along with the doors to the lives of extraordinary/ordinary people. The best memoirs are maps of the heart and mind, and Marjorie Simmins invites you to explore the map of your own life. Here are the probing questions and dynamic writing ideas, coupled with inspirational interviews with best-selling memoirists, to light your own imagination afire. How do you access the details of your earliest memories, make them immediate and dramatic? How do you drive the story forward? How do you make a stranger care about your life?

Memoir: Conversations and Craft is intended for any reader or writer who is fascinated by the renegade memoir form—personal life stories that demand to be read, refuse to be forgotten. Whether you wish to compile memories from childhood to share with grandchildren, or whether you burn with the makings of a literary memoir, this reflection on writing can galvanize you.

Donna Morrissey, Linden MacIntyre, Plum Johnson, Lawrence Hill, Edmund Metatawabin, Diane Schoemperlen, and Claire Mowat—some of Canada's top fiction and non-fiction writers—speak with candour, humour, and compassion about their journeys to memoir. Often touching, always helpful and frank, the interviews cover a broad spectrum of the writing experience. The time to write a memoir is always now—and the benefits are transformative.