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Tell Me True: Memoir, History, and Writing a Life [Hardcover]

Andre Aciman , Matt Becker , June Cross , Carlos Eire , Helen Epstein , Samuel G. Freedman , Patricia Hampl , Fenton Johnson , Alice Kaplan , Annette Kobak , Michael Patrick MacDonald , Elaine Tyler May , Cheri Register , D.J. Waldie


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Book Description

Sept. 1 2008
"The memoir has been, on the one hand, a startling success story in American publishing in the past quarter century. But it has also been literature's changeling, the bad apple, ever suspect, slightly illegitimate, a brassy parvenu talking too much about itself." - Patricia Hampl, "You're History"

Balancing precariously between history and literature, memoir writers have finally found their place on the bookshelf. But increased notoriety brings intense scrutiny: memoirists are expected to create a narrative worthy of fiction while also staying true to the facts. Historians, too, handle tricky issues of writing from "real life," when imagination must fill gaps in the historical record.

In this landmark collection, Patricia Hampl and Elaine Tyler May have gathered fourteen original essays from award-winning memoirists and historians. Whether the record emerges from archival sources or from personal memory, these writers show how to make the leap to telling a good story, while also telling us true.

Contributors: Andre Aciman, Matt Becker, June Cross, Carlos Eire, Helen Epstein, Samuel G Freedman, Patricia Hampl, Fenton Johnson, Alice Kaplan, Annette Kobak, Michael MacDonald, Elaine Tyler May, Cheri Register, D. J. Waldie

Patricia Hampl is the author of three memoirs, including most recently The Florist's Daughter. Elaine Tyler May has written several books on twentieth-century American history. Both are Regents Professors at the University of Minnesota.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Borealis Books; 1 edition (Sept. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873516303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873516303
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.4 x 21.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,521,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Slow Sept. 29 2010
By H. Hultquist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While some of the essays in this book were interesting, overall, the book did not grab my attention. I guess I would rather read a memoir than a book about writing memoirs.

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