“In the end, the work I always come back to, the work that seems best remembered and draws the strongest reactions, is the work in which the ‘outside world’ forms a vital partnership with that I narrator.” – Meaghan Daum
Sure, it’s brave to express the inexpressible—to write against expectations, to allow oneself to be seen wholly, to show the least culturally acceptable parts of our lives. This is the beating heart of personal narrative, wherein there is no one way to experience humanity. But how do we know what we know? How do we create the scene when our memory is sketchy?
The essayist/memoirist shows us the way to seek and find truth. By offering up the process of navigating the creation of the story, the facts are illuminated—whether in the journalist seeking details of her medical emergency in Brain On Fire, or a sister divulging how she found the courage to write her twin’s trauma in Her, or in investigating what might be “unspeakable” in Daum’s work of the same name, we learn how story can be discovered and eventually made unsentimental, with treasure past our cultural illusions and blind spots.
In this one-day class, there are specific exercises aimed at resurrecting your authentic story and revealing its location in the darkness. You’ll come away with a list of research you need to complete, and a thoughtful process aimed at enlightening where your work meets the world.
Sonya teaches “When Memory Doesn’t Serve” on Aug. 5 from 5-8 p.m.