memoir Quotes

To write a good memoir you must become the editor of your own life, imposing on an untidy sprawl of half-remembered events a narrative shape and an organizing idea. Memoir is the art of inventing the truth.
 
tags: truth memoir write ideas
— William Zinsser
Memoir isn't the summary of a life; it's a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It's not; it's a deliberate construction.
 
tags: memoir
— William Zinsser
A lot of presidential memoirs, they say, are dull and self-serving. I hope mine is interesting and self-serving.
 
tags: memoir hope
— William J. Clinton
Memoir is a weird genre for a reporter. You end up investigating your own memories, reporting out your past.
 
tags: past memory memoir
— William Finnegan
A learned County Court judge in a book of memoirs recently said that the overwhelming amount of his time on the bench was taken up with people who are persuaded by persons whom they do not know to enter into contracts that they do not understand to purchase goods that they do not want with money that they have not got.
 
tags: time people memoir book money
— Wilfred Greene, 1st Baron Greene
I disagree that Blood Will Out is a memoir in the conventional sense. It's the story of a relationship, primarily, not an individual. The "me" in the book is a specialized version of me, the person who Clark manipulated and fooled. I could cover the same years of my life from an entirely different perspective in another book, by concentrating on my experience as a husband, say. But I was selective. I focused on my duping.
 
— Walter Kirn
I don't write fiction but I do write narrative; I write memoirs that I treat like stories, so whenever I'm using somebody I actually know as a model, I am submitting them to the agenda of a storyteller, and I feel free to do what I want.
 
tags: memoir stories write fiction
— Vivian Gornick
A serious life, by definition, is a life one reflects on, a life one tries to make sense of and bear witness to. Truth in a memoir is achieved not through a recital of actual events; it is achieved when the reader comes to believe that the writer is working hard to engage with the experience at hand. What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the large sense that the writer is able to make of what happened.
 
tags: truth experience believe memoir definition
— Vivian Gornick
The desire for narration keeps on reasserting itself, so that since modernism and fiction brought narration to an end, it is sought in memoirs.
 
tags: desires memoir fiction
— Vivian Gornick
I don't know if memoirs can produce literary work of the first order. But I do know that novels are doing it only rarely.
 
tags: work memoir novel
— Vivian Gornick
A lot of my songs are very personal, always, but this one felt like a memoir. I almost called it Hallucinated Memoir. "Granny" is a hallucinated memoir. It's straight-up symbolism for my life, in many ways.
 
tags: personal memoir song
— Vic Chesnutt
A Diogenesian search for an honest person would rarely lead to the author of a memoir.
 
tags: people memoir author
— Tony Blankley
Many things embarrass me, but reading isnt one of them. Im not ashamed of my slightly weird collection of prison memoirs. Nor the flaky meditation books. After all, I can pretend I never read those.
 
tags: memoir prison meditation reading book read
— Tom Rachman
A recently reprinted memoir by Frederick Douglass has footnotes explaining what words like 'arraigned,' 'curried' and 'exculpate' meant, and explaining who Job was. In other words, this man who was born a slave and never went to school educated himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today's expensively under-educated generation.
 
tags: men memoir job school
— Thomas Sowell
I believe the personal is the collective. One of the ironies of writing memoir is in using the "I" it becomes an alchemical "we." This is the sorcery of literature.
 
tags: personal believe memoir irony writing literature
— Terry Tempest Williams
The discipline of writing a memoir comes in the editing. This is where I cut, slash, and burn - where my creative mind is transformed into a ruthless one. No word escapes my scrutiny. It is here where I see what boundaries need to be set.
 
tags: memoir discipline mind writing creative
— Terry Tempest Williams
When we spoke, Gene Wilder had just written a memoir called "Kiss Me Like A Stranger." The title was suggested by his late wife Gilda Radner three weeks before she died in 1989.
 
tags: memoir wife
— Terry Gross
When it comes to memoir, we want to catch the author in a lie. When we read fiction, we want to catch the author telling the truth.
 
tags: truth lies memoir author read fiction
— Tayari Jones
I never felt inspired to write this book [ I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?], like I did with the cat or dog book; I felt compelled. At the time (May 1999), I was planning to write and illustrate an altogether different memoir, a book about my decision whether or not to have a baby.
 
tags: time memoir decision brain cat dog book write
— Suzy Becker
I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it's an amazing form that we haven't even begun to tap"we're just getting started figuring out what the rules are.
 
tags: believe memoir rules novel
— Susan Cheever
To be honest, I don't know. I started one [book] back in 1982 or '83 when I first retired. But I was only 25 or 26 and not ready to write my memoirs.
 
tags: memoir write
— Sugar Ray Leonard
I think many people need, even require, a narrative version of their life. I seem to be one of them. Writing memoir is, in some ways, a work of wholeness.
 
tags: people work memoir writing
— Sue Monk Kidd
I love memoirs, particularly obscure ones because the writer is usually a regular guy just telling what happened to him and to his friends. What these tales lack in artfulness they make up for in passion and authenticity. For a writer of fiction, they are solid gold. I have stolen so much from memoirs it's ridiculous.
 
tags: friends memoir authenticity fiction passion
— Steven Pressfield
I've been approached many times to write all sorts of books about my past and my personal life. I get interest from people who want to do reality shows, and somebody just offered me a huge amount of money to write my spiritual memoirs. I'm just not interested.
 
tags: time people reality past personal memoir spiritual book write money
— Steve Vai
The stupidest thing that a writer can do is write a memoir I think, unless it's right before you die - maybe.
 
tags: memoir right die write
— Steve Earle
I'm a memoir writer. I try to understand the world by taking experiences I have and making them into a story, whether it's a narrative memoir, blogging for The Huffington Post, writing poems, or talking on the screen about what has happened to me and how that relates to the world at large.
 
tags: world experience memoir writing stories poem
— Staceyann Chin
Let no family go into eternity without having left their memoirs for their children, their grandchildren, and their posterity.
 
tags: children memoir eternity child
— Spencer W. Kimball
I had many reasons for writing memoir but among them was the hope that every Latino child and adult would find something familiar in it.
 
tags: children adult memoir child writing hope
— Sonia Sotomayor
I don't really think of my essays as being about myself. I know it sounds insane, but I just don't think of them as a memoir. They're essays; they're not an autobiography.
 
tags: memoir
— Sloane Crosley
I've always liked to read about extremely wealthy people, especially when they are crazy (like Howard Hughes or Caligula.) While writing this book I did a lot of fun research on robber barons like Rockefeller and Morgan. But the most helpful stuff came from studying royal families and mad emperors. The best book I read was probably A King's Own Story, which is the memoir of Edward VIII. Also, anything about Ivan the Terrible or Ted Turner.
 
tags: people memoir fun crazy writing stories book read research
— Simon Rich
Life Among the Savages is a disrespectful memoir of my children.
 
tags: children memoir child savage
— Shirley Jackson
In various memoir pieces, I have traced the trajectory of yearning through decisions made, good and bad, that had somehow kept the ambition on track.
 
tags: memoir ambition decision bad
— Shirley Geok-lin Lim
The problem of the female body is not something that I've studied, but my memoir does treat that theme.
 
tags: memoir problem body
— Shirley Geok-lin Lim
That desire to reach further is also where I ended my memoir, in 1994 in California, perhaps ironically, looking out to the Pacific and back to Asia, toward the not-yet-written.
 
tags: desires memoir
— Shirley Geok-lin Lim
In my memoir, I wanted to introduce American women to Iranian women and our lives. I'm not from the highest echelons of society, nor the lowest. I'm a woman who is a lawyer, who is a professor at a university, who won the Nobel Peace Prize. At the same time, I cook. And even when I'm about to go to prison, one of the first things I do is to make enough food and put it in the fridge for my family.
 
tags: time peace women society live food memoir prison american university
— Shirin Ebadi
I love to read long books. I enjoy experiencing that extension. But it's not something I feel comfortable with and not something I think I can gain comfort with by practice. It was a real struggle for me while writing memoir to get past three pages or so. In poems, I can write long poems. But length in prose: no.
 
tags: past memoir struggle comfort real writing book write poem read
— Shane McCrae
Someone asked me if I was afraid to write my memoirs. I told him: 'We have to stop drawing up accounts of fear! We live in a society in which people are allowed to tell their story, and that is what I do.'
 
tags: people society live memoir stories write afraid
— Salman Rushdie
The difference between memoir and autobiography, as far as I see it, is that a memoir is there primarily to tell one particular story, whereas an autobiography tries to be a full account of a life.
 
tags: memoir stories
— Salman Rushdie
If you're going to write a memoir, try to be as honest and open as you can.
 
tags: memoir write
— Salman Rushdie
I haven't written my memoirs or let the television movie be made about my life.
 
tags: memoir movie
— Sally Ride