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On Memoirs: Genre of the Age
In the past decade, the memoir has emerged as the signature genre of the age. Unfortunately, some of the most recent and best memoirs have received less attention than the more sensational examples. Eavan Boland's Object Lessons, Andre Dubus' Meditations from a Movable Chair, Lucy Grealy's Autobiography of a Face, and Jamaica Kincaid's My Brother exemplify the best the form has to offer. In each of these works, the writer has fused story and style in ways that illuminate the dilemma memoirists, essayists, and autobiographers face when structuring a true tale within the confines of narrative.
Jamaica Kincaid's My Brother will be the subject of the first class.
Marsha Recknagel teaches creative writing at Rice University. She received an M.F.A. from Bennington College Writing Seminars. Her memoir, Make Me an Angel, will be published in January 2001 by St. Martin's Press.