AWP2018: Truer Words Were Never Spoken: On the Challenges of Writing About Family in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir 

People who write memoir ALWAYS have these questions, and if they don’t, they probably should. Here are some excellent answers.

Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies

Panel Participants: Artress Bethany WhiteSharon HarriganBridgett DavisLori Horvitz

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 7.25.10 AMDescription: Writers of nonfiction struggle with the ethics of transparency in their work, particularly when discussing family. From fratricide to confronting parental abandonment or making a living from illegal professions, writers must often face their own demons and those of extended family members to tell their stories. Each author will discuss a work of memoir from a published or forthcoming book and then discuss reconciling the transparency necessary for the success of the project.

Six years ago, I began work on my memoir in a class through UCLA’s Writer’s Program extension. For the first assignment, I wrote about my fear of disclosing personal details. I grew up in a political family where I learned to only share information that fit a tightly defined strategy in support of my elected parents. But the story I have been…

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