Friday, September 6, 2019

Lessons from Margaret Renkl: How One Memoir-Writer Circled Round Family, Nature, and Loss

How does a memoir writer weave family stories into a larger whole?  This is the perennial challenge.  Unless you already have a fan following, most readers won't follow your trials and tribulations just because you write about them.  You need to hook them into a universal truth, learning, or other bigger element. Something they can relate to their own lives. 

Nature and loss are two such universal elements, and done beautifully in the new memoir by New York Times columnist Margaret Renkl, Late Migrations, released in July from Milkweed Press.  The Rumpus wrote her up, and you can find out how she structured her memoir (read the article hereif you're struggling with that question.  (If the link doesn't work, go to and search for her name.) 

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