I need your feedback!
As a life writing mentor I’m often asked who are my favourite memoir writers. So, I’m creating a list starting with five of my old favourites. I’ll eventually post the list on Skeletons & Dirty Linen
After a lifetime of reading it was quite hard to narrow down my choices, and it was only after I made my selection I realised every writer I had chosen has their own unique voice. This showed me where my heart really lies when it comes to reading. I’ve included some examples so you’ll see what I mean.
Let me know your favourites so I can add yours to the list. Tell me why if you have the time.
1. Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi
“Greece is not a small country – it is impressively vast. No country I have visited has given me such sense of grandeur. Size is not created by mileage always… Greece could swallow both the United States and Europe. Greece is a little like China or India…”
2. Amos Oz
“The city, Jerusalem, where people schlepped along the streets: “If we picked up our foot someone else might come along and snatch our little strip of land. On the other hand, once you have lifted your foot, do not be in a hurry to put it down again… time and time again we have fallen into the hands of our enemies because we put our foot down without looking where we were putting them.”
3. Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
“Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.”
4. Janet Frame, Angel at My Table
“From the first place of liquid darkness, within the second place of air and light, I set down the following record with its mixture of fact and truths and memories of truths and its direction always toward the Third Place, where the starting point is myth.”
5. Austin Burroughs, Running with Scissors
“My mother is standing in front of the bathroom mirror smelling polished and ready; like Jean Nate, Dippity Do and the waxy sweetness of lipstick. Her white, handgun-shaped blow-dryer is lying on top of the wicker clothes hamper, ticking as it cools. She stands back and smoothes her hands down the front of her swirling, psychedelic Pucci dress, biting the inside of her cheek. “Damn it,” she says, “something isn’t right.”