In conversation with Bich Minh Nguyen
Moderated by Melissa Cistaro
For the many amateurs and professionals who write about themselves— bloggers, journal-keepers, aspiring essayists, and memoirists— this book offers inspiration, encouragement, and pithy, practical advice. In Why We Write about Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature, twenty of America's bestselling memoirists share their innermost thoughts and hard-earned tips with veteran author Meredith Maran, revealing what drives them to tell their personal stories, and the nuts and bolts of how they do it. Speaking frankly about issues ranging from turning oneself into an authentic, compelling character to exposing hard truths, these successful authors disclose what keeps them going, what gets in their way, and what they love most and least about writing about themselves.
Meredith Maran, a passionate reader and writer of memoirs, is the author of thirteen nonfiction books and the acclaimed 2012 novel, A Theory Of Small Earthquakes. Meredith also writes book reviews, essays, and features for newspapers and magazines including People, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Chicago Tribune. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Meredith lives in a restored historic bungalow in Los Angeles.
Bich Minh Nguyen (pronounced Bit Min New-win) teaches literature and creative writing at Purdue University. She lives with her husband, the novelist Porter Shreve, in Chicago and West Lafayette, Indiana. Stealing Buddha's Dinner, her first book, was the recipient of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award.
Melissa Cistaro is the author of the memoir Pieces of My Mother and an events coordinator at Book Passage, the legendary San Francisco Bay Area independent bookstore. A writer and mother, she has been published in numerous literary journals, as well as in two anthologies alongside Anne Larnott, Jane Smiley, and others.