Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas Books in Review
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Thinking About Memoir
by Abigail Thomas
ISBN 1-4027-5235-0
Published April 2008 - Hardcover - 118 pages - $14.95

They say everyone has a book in them, but sadly not everyone can write their stories.  Where would you start?  How much would you open up?  Questions like this plague would-be writers all the time.  Abigail Thomas gives us "exercises" to do to help jolt our memories and to regurgitate our experiences and lives.  Some of her two-page exercises seem impossible (or at least unlikely), but you should at least try.  They say it's good to write every day; write anything.  The thing is that often you're not sure you can remember things or details, and then what would the point of writing be?  It gets you thinking, that's what it does.  In this book Ms. Thomas relates snippets of her life, little memories here and there; this we can all do.  She suggests you write a memoir about a particular time or decade in your life.  You don't have to spill your guts if you don't want to, but one thing often triggers off a little something else, and perhaps you might remember a snatch of something else, and so it goes.  A domino effect.  I keep telling people who say they "can't write," to jot down notes when things come to them, so I was delighted to read this: "There was no narrative at all.  But these bits and pieces kept flying out of me, and I kept writing them down.  I didn't know if what I was doing would amount to anything, but I never cross-examine the muse."  Wonderful.  Don't ask questions, just keep notes.  By the way, I haven't a clue who "they" are.
Conclusion - Read this book, especially if you want to tell your story.  You might learn something about yourself.

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