The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Grand Union by Zadie Smith and Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout.
It took Joyce Maynard twenty-five years of reflection, distance, and understanding to write her first memoir. But when tragedy struck later in life, her second memoir came much more quickly.
Writer and artist Kristen Radtke’s debut graphic memoir, Imagine Wanting Only This, combines vivid illustrations with an unflinching investigation of loss, memory, and the construction and dissolution of the self.
Writing about trauma is sometimes called “navel-gazing,” particularly for women writers. An essayist and memoirist confronts this stigma, and calls on writers to explore their personal traumas and truths.
“Read like your work depends on it. It does.” —Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game
In our fourth annual installment of this series, five debut authors over the age of fifty—Julie Langsdorf, Valencia Robin, Timothy Brandoff, Margaret Renkl, and Peter Kaldheim—share excerpts from their first books.
In her new book, In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado reimagines the memoir form by examining her personal story of domestic abuse using different tropes and shines new light on the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.
“The process of writing a memoir can swallow you whole if you aren’t careful.” —Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight For Our Lives.
“I had made a bargain with myself that if I lived, I would give a book of what I learned back to the world in return—an act of gratitude and sometimes vengeance—and I made it.” —Anne Boyer, author of The Undying
A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,100) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short memoir. Chrissie Gittins will judge. Submit a memoir of up to 4,000 words with a €17 (approximately $19) entry fee by January 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines.