I’m asked often what books I’d recommend for writers learning about how to craft a memoir (Let me pause here to say: I loathe the word “craft” in conjunction with writing, but I have to admit it’s apt here: memoir requires building skills, but you also have to know what to take away, and how to make sure your story has a defined shape when you’re finished. So craft it is – but as a verb, not a noun. I may craft stories, but the only craft I have is baton twirling :) )
Here are seven books from my shelf. Each one exemplifies incredible writing, great shape & structure, and the most important thing – that je ne sais quoi factor that makes me want to read it again and again. Read them once to enjoy the stories, and then a second time to see how the authors pulled it off.
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
Expecting Adam by Martha Beck
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
Love Story by Nichole Nordeman (not technically a memoir, but beautiful)
The Buy Side by Turney Duff