Writing As Witness Essay And Talk

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Is a question asked of me surprisingly often when I visit schools, which I much enjoy not only as part of my overarching subtle devious plan to get on the good side of the children who will soon run the world, but also for the consistent entertainment of their artlessly honest questions (the best ever: Is that your real nose? Read the Bible once a year or so, ideally the King James, to be reminded that rhythm and cadence are your friends as a writer.

), and for the sometimes deeply piercing depth of our conversations; we have suddenly spoken of death and miracles and loss and love, while we were supposed to be talking about writing and literature; and I have wept in front of them, and they have wept in front of me; which seems to me a sweet gift, to be trusted that much. Most religious writing is terrible whereas some spiritual writing is stunning.

Later on in the process, however, I decided to approach, and ultimately work with a publisher because I realized I wanted a partner. So I will start by asking you three questions: Before sprinting full-speed down this unfamiliar book path, I asked myself the above three questions because I knew I needed to manage my own expectations and be smart about a decision this huge.

I knew I wanted to make a book for my family, to honor and remember my parents and the lives we shared together.

I had to ask myself, “What does this book bring to the table that all of the previous publications of the work could not?

”Finally, when it comes to publishing a book, as photographers we have to put on our businesswoman hats and think about our audience.

When we look back at this century’s literary legacy, many of these names will surely be canon, and this collection will offer a rare glimpse into their early childhoods.”—Garrard Conley, author of “By turns raw, tender, bold, and wise, the essays in this anthology explore writers’ relationships with their mothers.

Kudos to Michele Filgate for this riveting contribution to a vital conversation.”—Claire Messud, author of “Who better to discuss one of our greatest shared surrealities—that we are all, once and forever, for better or worse, someone’s child—than this murderer’s row of writers?

Use silence as a journalistic tool; people are uncomfortable with it and will leap to fill the holes, often telling you more than they wanted to. (Do not misuse this great secret, son.) Everyone has sweet sad brave wonderful stories; give them a chance to tell their stories. “Those are the options we generally associate with far-off islands, like Fuji or Kiribati.

“By turns joyously heartwarming and plaintively forlorn, a dynamic cast of essayists--Kiese Laymon and Leslie Jamison among them--riff on the women who are "our first homes" and the lies that "make fools of the people we love."—, starred review "Fifteen essayists—many luminaries—write unflinchingly about their mothers...


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