Why We Write about Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature (Paperback)

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Why We Write about Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature Cover Image
By Meredith Maran (Editor)
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Staff Reviews

A heartwarming and honest book which I admired from start to finish. Unpretentious and straightforward, this collection gives you a look at 20 different authors who explain why they chose to write about themselves. Some humble, others egotistical--all of these writers make valuable points about introspection, vulnerability, and the difficulties that come with exposing your life to others. There are surprising common threads that weave through the pages, but ultimately each author has a unique and noteworthy take on the subject of self-exposure. I found this book to be thought-provoking, analytical, and profound in the most delightfully candid way.

-- Stacy

— From Stacy T. Staff Picks


In the voices of twenty landmark memoirists--including New York Times bestselling authors Cheryl Strayed, Sue Monk Kidd, and Pat Conroy--a definitive text on the craft of autobiographical writing, indispensable for amateur and professional writers alike.

For readers of Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir and Judith Barrington's Writing the Memoir, this follow-up to editor Meredith Maran's acclaimed writers' handbook, Why We Write, offers inspiration, encouragement, and pithy, practical advice for bloggers, journal-keepers, aspiring essayists, and memoirists.

Curated and edited by Maran, herself an acclaimed author and book critic, these memoirists share the lessons they've learned through years of honing their craft. They reveal what drives them to tell their personal stories and examine the nuts and bolts of how they do it. Speaking frankly about issues ranging from turning oneself into an authentic, compelling character to exposing hard truths, these outstanding authors disclose what keeps them going, what gets in their way, and what they love most--and least--about writing about themselves.

"It's possible that Why We Write About Ourselves is the first compilation of memoirists at the top of their game seriously and thoughtfully considering the genre."
- LA Times

About the Author

Meredith Maran, a passionate reader and writer of memoirs, is the author of thirteen nonfiction books and the acclaimed novel A Theory Of Small Earthquakes. Meredith also writes book reviews, essays, and features for newspapers and magazines including People, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Salon.com, and More. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Meredith lives in a restored historic bungalow in Los Angeles, and on Twitter at @meredithmaran. Her next memoir is about starting over in Los Angeles.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780142181973
ISBN-10: 0142181978
Publisher: Plume Books
Publication Date: January 26th, 2016
Pages: 272
Language: English