Houghton First published in 1987, Inventing the Truth quickly grew into the best-selling compendium of the Writer's Craft series and continues to be a lasting hit. In this revised and expanded edition with a new introduction by its editor, William Zinsser, the voices of original contributors - Russell Baker, Annie Dillard, Alfred Kazin, and Toni Morrison - join with new pieces by Jill Ker Conway, Eileen Simpson, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., among others. The result is a provocative dialogue that vividly examines the expanding and innovative approaches to a literary form practiced by some of our most prestigious authors. With refreshing candor, contributors both old and new address the pleasures and challenges of accurately rendering their personal histories. Toni Morrison underscores the manner in which her heritage informs her work, while Jill Ker Conway describes the essential act of leaving the past behind. On a comic note, Russell Baker recalls his failure to include his mother and himself i
Baker & Taylor Eight American authors draw on their own works to describe the creative process involved in writing a memoir
Blackwell North Amer In this unusually rich volume, eight prominent American writers recall in warm anecdotal detail the pleasures and problems of writing a memoir. Russell Baker explains why his first draft of Growing Up was a hopeless disaster. Annie Dillard discusses how writing a memoir of her Pittsburgh childhood confronted her with the memoirist's central dilemma: what to put in and what to leave out. Alfred Kazin recalls how A Walker in the City became his connection to the "personal history" of America's literary giants. Toni Morrison tells how she uses the first-person accounts of slaves to gain access to the interior life of her people. Eileen Simpson explains how writing Poets in Their Youth and two other memoirs enabled her to work through the necessary pain of repossessing her earlier life. Ian Frazier describes his search for the meaning of his parents' lives through family papers dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., reveals his liberating decision to write Colored People without a white censor looking over his shoulder. Jill Ker Conway recalls how her memoir of her Australian girlhood, The Road from Coorain, became a call to young women everywhere to take charge of their lives. This expanded new edition of Inventing the Truth will be helpful and inspiring to anyone embarking on a memoir and trying to impose a narrative framework on the experiences, memories, and emotions of the past.