Monday, November 11, 2013

Tell Me About Yourself: The Ins and Outs of Memoirs

According to Google a memoir is defined as a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources. According to me and many others I’ve spoken to, a memoir is an outlet to tell anyone, who is willing to read it, what you’ve been through.  The key to a successful memoir is one that evokes emotion. Whether that emotion is happiness, sadness, grief, or a hysterical fit of laughter, the reader is able to relate and react to what the author has to say. We must not pigeon hole this genre of literature as some sappy fit of rambles about one’s life so everyone can feel pity for the author because memoirs can be written in various forms and elicit very different reactions.

A few of my favorite memoirs that are available at the Adrian G. Marcuse Library, right here at LIM College, are listed below.

Running With Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs; 813.6 BUR

This book has been made in a widely successful film and dives into the quirky and far from reality life that Augusten Burroughs grew up in.  Taking the reader on a ride of their life, they discover a dysfunctional family, how a child finds a place to call home in something that seems far from it, and so much more. As a journey all its own, you’ll have to read more to find out what happens at the renowned Dr. Finch’s house.

Wendy Merrill has a unique sense of humor when retelling the many lives she once lived, and believe me there were a lot. She brings the reader through her emotional breaking points and shows us how a young girl with troubling self-esteem found herself.  It’s a book you can cry over, laugh about, and relate to on many levels.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel; 741.5 BEC

Fun Home is a memoir written as a comic book, allowing the reader to see a different medium of how a story can be portrayed.  Comics generally being thought of as the super hero type, this memoir shows you everything but that as Bechdel takes you on her journey to self-discovery and acceptance while grieving the loss of her distant father. 

Posted on November 11, 2013 I Blog post by Ali Petherbridge (student worker of the LIM College Library)