February 6, 2017
This is my long-overdue review of The Magic of Memoir, Edited by Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner. My essay, It Would Never Happen To Us discusses the potential ramifications of telling your truth. I shared my reproductive memoir with one of my best friends of 25 years, which included the complex emotions between fertile and infertile friends (I still hate those words, especially “infertile,” which feels derogatory and inaccurate, but use them for the ease of communication for now). She never spoke a single word to me again.
Disclosure: I am a contributing author to this book. I remain compelled to write a review, because the majority of The Magic of Memoir not written by me feels like such a gift. The writing, of the 37 other contributors, and editors Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner, is beautiful, but, for me, it is in the individual and collective stories, perspectives, and processes where the real magic lies. It is in the connection, as writers, as readers, as sometimes struggling, but always curious and determined, humans. It is in the pearls of wisdom. It is in nodding and thinking, “Me too.” It is in coming away reaffirmed that our own story is valid and valuable, because everyone’s story is valid and valuable, and no other reason is necessary. It is in all the ways that telling our stories heal.
Interviews with well-known and best-selling memoirists, including Mary Karr, Elizabeth Gilbert, Azar Nafisi, Dani Shapiro, and more, feel like shiny gift-wrapping, for both writers and readers of memoir.
I am honored to be part of this book, and hope and believe other writers and readers of memoir will love it too.