Inventing the Truth


If you are planning to write your memoirs, I can highly recommend several books for you to read, on writing memoirs.

One of my favorites is Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, edited by William Zinsser, a renowned writer, journalist, literary critic, and teacher. The book is a collection of essays by Russell Baker, Jill Ker Conway, Annie Dillard, Ian Frazier, Henry Louis Gates Jr, Alfred Kazin, Frank McCourt, Toni Morrison, and Eileen Simpson, many of whom you will recognize by name.

This isn’t just a how-to book; those abound. Rather, this is a book about their discoveries and how they came to write their now-famous books:

  • Russell Baker explains why his first draft of Growing Up was a disaster.
  • Frank McCourt reveals how he finally learned from his students how to write Angela’s Ashes at the age of sixty-four.
  • Annie Dillard notes how writing An American Childhood made her confront the memoirist’s central dilemma: what to put in and what to leave out.

This book is indispensable for anyone writing a memoir.

As you read this book, I welcome you to visit this site, to learn more about writing memoirs.

When the moment comes when you need an editor, I will be here, ready to help.

Bon Voyage!

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