April 18, 2010
In the past few weeks, I have interviewed authors of memoirs (both self-published and Pulitzer-nominated), a college professor who teaches memoir writing classes, a student at a memoir writing class, a creator of a memoir blog and numerous people who enjoy reading memoir.
I posed similar questions to each of them, but their responses only seemed to match up on one:
“What is your favorite memoir?”
April 11, 2010
Second in my series on the favorite memoirs of my family and friends is my boyfriend, Eric Horvath. We’ve been dating for almost three years (33 months, but who’s counting?), but it’s only in the past year or so that I’ve seen him develop a real love for reading. When I asked him what his favorite memoir was, I honestly didn’t know the answer I would get because of all the books he’s read recently. (I also want to thank him for keeping his response within the allotted 2-3 sentences, not an easy feat for an English major.)
Name: Eric Horvath
From: Long Island
Currently: Studying English and Economics at Fordham University
Favorite Memoir: “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami
Why: “Murakami’s memoir about his preposterous streak of running marathons (something like one every year for over 25 years) and writing best-selling novels really spoke to me. When I read it (last fall) I was training for a 9 mile race of my own and just admitting to myself that I wanted to write for a living. His intertwining of the two, along with his translatable work-ethic, made his book all the more resonant.”
When I attended the free Gotham Writers’ Workshop almost two weeks ago, I sat next to a woman who caught my attention when she asked about writing a memoir for children. Juliette Borda, 42, an illustrator and Brooklyn resident, recently answered some questions for me about her views on memoir:
1. Define memoir.
One’s recounting of what they consider to be pivotal or transformative events in their lives; the story of the struggles that built their character. It’s the writer’s job to turn the random series of events in their life into a story and to find meaning in the events.