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Memoir Biography

Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir by Lisa Dale Norton
Focuses on the slice-of-life memoir: Find "memory pictures," your voice; and the heart of your story; identify one potent period of your life and �explore it through vivid imagery, honest voice, stunning compassion, and a deep awareness of the larger issues at play...�.

The Art of Time in Memoir (Then, Again) by Sven Birkerts
The great memoirists often break the rules, especially about mixing present and past tense. �Apart from whatever painful or disturbing events they recount, their deeper ulterior purpose is to discover the nonsequential connections that allow those experiences to make larger sense; they are about circumstance becoming meaningful when seen from a certain remove.�

Extraordinary Lives: The Art and Craft of American Biography Edited by William Zinsser
Thoughtful talks and biography shop talk by Robert A. Caro, David McCullough, Paul C. Nagel, Richard B. Sewall, Ronald Steel, and Jean Strouse

I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory by Patricia Hampl.
Explores the act of memoir-making, the tension between memory and forgetting (inventiveness as part of the search for emotional truth), the art of storytelling, and the value of the first draft, as a mystery dropping clues about the narrator's feelings.

Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir Edited by William Zinsser
Excellent talks by Russell Baker, Annie Dillard, Alfred Kazin, Toni Morrison, and Lewis Thomas.

Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay by Lara Adair
Helpful especially for memoirists who want to craft personal essays--by a popular columnist and writing coach/instructor.

Writing a Book That Makes a Difference by Philip Gerard
Not geared to memoir-writing, but Gerard�s insights and examples could help elevate your memoir above a string of anecdotal memories.

Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past by William Zinsser
Using his own stories as an example, this expert on writing shows how to be selective in choosing the stories to tell and the details to use or omit.

Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art by Judith Barrington
The basics (e.g., present vs. past tense, first vs. third person, balancing the needs for accuracy and good storytelling).

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