What is a Memoir? Maybe you should break it down?
Memoir • MEM oir (mem ‘war) n. • A report; a record of a thing to remember • Root word is MEM which means to remember • What other words does this remind you of?
The root “mem” • Memory • Memorex • Remember • Memento • Memorandum (memo) • Memoirist • Memorable • Memorabilia • Commemorate • Memorial • In memoriam • Remembrance • Unremembered • Memorandize
What Makes a Memoir a Memoir? • .. Focus on a brief period of time or series of related events • ... Narrative structure, including the usual elements of storytelling such as setting, plot development, imagery, conflict, characterization, foreshadowing and flashback, and irony and symbolism • ...Contemplation of the meaning of these events in retrospect • ... A fictional quality even though the story is true • ... Higher emotional level • ... More personal reconstruction of the events and their impact • ... Therapeutic experience for the memoirist
Why write a memoir? • You feel you have an important story to tell.. Whatever the story if you feel that a particular part of your life is an interesting story then write it in a memoir. • For future generations. A memoir can be like a piece of you reaching out to your descendants long after you have gone. • To document your success. Your rags to riches struggle. Both inspirational and interesting everyone likes to read how people triumph in the face of adversity.
Cont. • To document how you handle an illness. • As therapy. • To remember. Writing a memoir can help to unlock memories you had forgotten you had and as a result can help you to understand yourself better
Let’s Check out some Memoirs • Flying by Reeve Lindbergh • Why would Reeve Lindbergh write this memoir? • Think about some of the reasons why people write memoirs and brainstorm with a neighbor. Decide on one reason and elect a spokesperson to share your reason.
And one more… • Block Party by Jewell Parker Rhodes • Why would Jewell Parker Rhodes write this memoir? • Think about some of the reasons why people write memoirs. Now think about Block Party, how can you relate your life or elements of your life to her story. Brainstorm with the same neighbor and be ready to share one of the ways you were able to relate.
Your Assignment…. • You will write a memoir of your own tomorrow • Come prepared with a memory • Choose something that’s powerful (scary, painful, funny, intense, etc.) • Be ready to write for a solid 45 minutes!