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Narrative Momentum in Memoir [Elissa Washuta]

Our personal histories can provide rich material for memoir, but the wide breadth of our experiences does not naturally jell into a story. How can we arrange the disjointed details of our experience to form coherent, compelling narratives? Together we’ll look at examples of effective memoir, including Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, not necessarily examples of linear storytelling or tales of transformation. We’ll discuss other essential elements including focus, prose style, character development, and narrative structure. Students will work on starting a memoir or continuing an existing one through writing exercises; in-class critiques will help refine the work in progress.

No class Dec. 2.