Memory Into Memoir

Everyone has memories, but not everyone writes a memoir.  Memory is amorphous, but memoir is tangible, the past portrayed in narrative.  Memory Into Memoir guides readers through the writing process:  how to wrestle the unruly past to the page.

The past never comes to us whole cloth, but in bits and shards, fragments. Beginning with those fragments, this book shows writers to fuse memory and imagination into narrative. The memoir is not the story of what you know, it’s the story of how you learned it.  

memory into memoir

“[Memory into Memoirs] chapters each focus on a different element of craft in creative nonfiction and are an effective mix of context, prompts, and illuminating excerpts with follow-up analysis. While that formula has been used in other texts. . . none were so engaging to me as Kalpakian’s. In the middle of chapters I wanted to pause and work on drafts or record new ideas she’d provoked.”

~Whitney Jacobson, Split Rock Review

“An exceptionally comprehensive and thoroughly ‘user friendly’ in style, organization and presentation, “Memory into Memoir:  A Writer’s Handbook” is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community library, college and university library Writing/Publishing collections.  For aspiring and experienced writers alike.”

~The Midwest Book Review

“Kalpakian encourages writers to trust their instincts and embrace ‘not just the way things happened, but the way the writer thinks they happened.’ “

~Poets & Writers

“She’s so entertaining a writer that it takes a while to realize how smart she is.”

~The New Yorker

“She’s so entertaining a writer that it takes a while to realize how smart she is.”

~The New Yorker

“Her characters change and grow, and the story, instead of being reduced to a central issue, develops out of one.”

~Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Kalpakian can make 70 lines just as enduring as their equal in pages. And her writing is clearly inspired by a fire in the belly.”

~Bloomsbury Review

“Here we have a novel of great strength and scope with the impact and exhaustive character studies of the work of Henry James or Saul Bellow.”

~West Coast Review of Books

“In this step-by-step guide, the award-winning novelist and memoirist walks experienced and new writers alike through the challenges of writing a memoir”

~Poets & Writers

Also By Laura

About Laura

Laura Kalpakian was nominated for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for American Cookery. She won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award (twice), the Anahid Award for an American writer of Armenian descent, the PEN West Award, and the Stand International Short Fiction Competition. She has had residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Montalvo Center for the Arts, and Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. She is the author of sixteen novels, and four collections, and over a hundred stories published in collections, anthologies, literary journals and magazines in the USA and the UK.

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