[Just roll right out of bed and come on down.]
Here's a description of the panel.
Much has been written about the therapeutic benefits of writing and art-making for survivors of traumas such as war, disasters, slavery, disease, rape, incest. In other words, the writing is generally agreed to be good for the mental health of the amateurs. What about those of us who call ourselves writers? When does nonfiction writing about trauma rise to the level of art? What makes some artful, and others, self-serving and irrelevant? Of course the answers are subjective, but we will explore the questions and hazard some answers. Speaking as writers, readers, and editors, we will examine successful and unsuccessful creative nonfictions and tease out our reasons for making those judgments.
These are the authors and works we are quoting in our presentations, as well as other recommended works. Also included are links to books we've written.
Dani Shapiro, Still Writing
Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face
Gregory Orr, The Blessing
Richard Hoffman, Half the House
Kathryn Harris, The Kiss
Janice Gary, Short Leash: a Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance
(Note: There are various versions of his autobiography.)
Judy Ruiz, "The Mother, the Daughter, and the Holy Horse: A Trilogy," Iowa Review vol. 23, no. 2
Holocaust Girls: History, Memory & Other Obsessions
Alfred Doeblin, Destiny's Journey
Raymond Federer, SHHH: The Story of a Childhood
Stanley Elkin, "Why I Live Where I Live" and title essay, Pieces of Soap
Janet Burroway, Losing Tim: A Memoir
Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals
An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum
First There is a Mountain: A Yoga Romance