The Memoir Revolution

In case anyone is still in doubt about whether or not we are in the midst of a memoir revolution, fully half the ten titles on this year’s National Book Awards (American) longlist for nonfiction are memoirs. But within that flexible category is immense variety:

  1. Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s open letter to his son about how to “live free in this black body”.

  2. Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs is Sally Mann’s account of her family and artistic life in the American South, enriched with many historical photos.

  3. If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran is Carla Power’s story of friendship with Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi and their combined efforts at studying the Koran.

  4. Ordinary Light: A Memoir is Tracy K. Smith’s record of growing up in a bookish family surrounded by animals, the dawning of her creative life, and the search for love.

  5. Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir is Michael White’s tale of travelling through Europe and the US to see the Vermeer paintings – while going through a painful divorce.

Just reading the titles is enough to give you ideas for a direction your own story could take. A letter. Freedom. Photos. Friendship. Creativity. Love. Travel. Divorce. Or any combination thereof. Universal themes, but with your own story woven onto the loom of such archetypes, we are invited onto the pages of your twenty-first century truths.

Do the world a favour. Add your voice to the revolution.

A Bouquet of Storied

A Bouquet of Stories

7 comments on “The Memoir Revolution

  1. What a lovely post, Diane. I’m sure this is jut the encouragement some people need to get started – or to realize their story has worth.


  2. Memoirs or personal stories feature heavily in the film line-up at the moment, too.


  3. Reblogged this on Memoir Notes.


  4. Lovely bouquet, Diane. Lovely encouragement to keep writing too. This is good news for memoir hopefuls. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy


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