Academics

BLS 326: Telling Stories: The Art & Craft of the Memoir

A good memoir is shaped like a good story. If told well, with a sharp focus and a bit of self-effacing irony, events in the memoirist’s life draw us in and illuminate a wider world.

In this course we’ll read three contemporary book-length memoirs and a variety of personal memory essays. In addition, we’ll discuss some self-portrait paintings. At several points in the course, students will be asked to do some creative writing, conveying slices of their own pasts. There will be weekly discussion forums, small group exercises, and a final paper.

Textbooks

  • Hooks, Bell. Bone Black. Owl/Holt, 1997. ISBN 0805055126
  • Saltzman, Mark. Lost in Place. Vintage, 1996. ISBN 0679767789
  • Walls, Jeanette. The Glass Castle. Scribner, 2006. ISBN 9780743247542