What are we supposed to do with that lovely, infuriating, instigating, mischievous blank page? Who are we, when we’re being uncommonly honest? Where do we stand, in the landscape of truth?
In Tell the Truth. Make It Matter., a one-of-a-kind memoir workbook, Beth Kephart offers an insider’s look at the making of true tales—and an illustrated workbook to guide the wild ride. Combining smartly selected samples with abundantly fresh ideas, dozens of original exercises with cautions, questions with answers, Kephart inspires, encourages, and persistently believes in those with a story to tell.
Write this, Truth says. Read this. Consider this. Discover who you are. Have some honest fun with words.
Truth should find a home among high school teachers, college professors, workshop leaders, autodidacts, secret writers and public ones.
Writing memoir is a deeply personal, and consequential, undertaking. As the acclaimed author of five memoirs spanning significant turning points in her life, Beth Kephart has been both blessed and bruised by the genre. In Handling the Truth, she thinks out loud about the form—on how it gets made, on what it means to make it, on the searing language of truth, on the thin line between remembering and imagining, and, finally, on the rights of memoirists. Drawing on proven writing lessons and classic examples, on the work of her students and on her own memories of weather, landscape, color, and love, Kephart probes the wrenching and essential questions that lie at the heart of memoir.
A beautifully written work in its own right, Handling the Truth is Kephart’s memoir-writing guide for those who read or seek to write the truth.
Juncture Notes is our free monthly offering of essential memoirs, timely reflections, and writing prompts. You’ll meet some of the leading memoirists of our time. You’ll read the work of our readers. You may even become one of the writers our readers read.
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All writers stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before. All writers benefit when exposed to classic and groundbreaking texts … and to careful, unexpected analysis. In this six-part, nearly one-hour course, Beth Kephart, an award-winning memoirist, teacher at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, celebrates the form. She explores the work of Virginia Woolf, E.B. White, Annie Dillard, James Baldwin, Mary-Louise Parker, Alison Bechdel, Helen Macdonald, Maggie Nelson, and others as she defines what great memoir does and how it gets written. Each video is organized around a theme. Silence and writer’s block. The art of the intimate letter. Lessons from the kitchen. Writing of loss. Writing the natural world. Memory and mortality. Each theme yields a series of writer prompts. The entire package is accompanied by a PDF writer’s journal that recaps key lessons and prompts.The series is perfect for writers, of course. But it is also just right for avid memoir readers who are seeking to better understand the books they read, as well as instructors at the high school, college, and workshop level.