Autobiographical Writing

The memoir is going through a literary identity
crisis. It is neither autobiographical fact nor fiction; it is an imaginative
construction that utilizes both. A memoir can be true, but it may not be
necessarily factual. Its authenticity is contingent upon life experience
colored by memory, and in many cases, imaginative recollection.

Using a nonfiction writing workshop format, students
will experiment with the creative nature of memoir to explore the self. Student
work will be evaluated in a workshop setting to help them develop their own
voice and style in creative nonfiction.

Requirements include reading two memoirs and other
short pieces of creative nonfiction, attendance and participation (including
providing written comments on student work and participating in workshops),
several short reading responses, and three 10-page works of creative nonfiction
(or their equivalent) in draft and revision.

Required texts:

  • William Maxwell, SO LONG, SEE YOU TOMORROW.