Writing Memoir, or, Taking the Winding Road to All Those Forgotten Places

A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.― Mark Twain Memory is a fleeting thing. Fallible as memory can be, writers depend on it when writing memoirs. Everyone wants to write a memoir these days, so much so that examples have been multiplying exponentially since Mary Karr published her genre-upending memoir, The Liar’s … More Writing Memoir, or, Taking the Winding Road to All Those Forgotten Places

Pumping Sunshine: Susie H. Baxter’s Rural North Florida Childhood

Memory, fickle memory. To recall the long-ago past becomes a journey into a place where truth flits behind trees or ducks into closets, an exhausting game of hide-and-seek where no player easily becomes “It.” Do you remember going to the Saturday afternoon movies when you were a kid? How you got so engrossed in the … More Pumping Sunshine: Susie H. Baxter’s Rural North Florida Childhood

The Fallibility of Memory, or, The Fabulists among Us

Memory is a funny thing. By “funny,” I’m not thinking Woody Allen amusing or Amy Schumer hilarious. No, by “funny” I mean something akin to “strange” or “perplexing” or even “otherworldly.” And indeed memory can be perplexing, making it appear as the stuff of fabulists. Trying to remember what happened last week, much less 50 or … More The Fallibility of Memory, or, The Fabulists among Us

Memoirs of a Breton Peasant: Sifting Through the Nostalgia

It’s not often that the words of poor peasants appear in print. And when they do, it’s a cause for rejoicing, especially for scholars pertaining to the Braudel/Certeau school of the history of daily life. What’s more, our current nostalgic longings for a more paradisiacal past evaporate quickly in the light of these often ruthlessly real … More Memoirs of a Breton Peasant: Sifting Through the Nostalgia