Memoir as a Genre

As I explored what a memoir is, I found these jewels:

  1. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by Dorothy Allison:
    Allison writes to both male and female writers, but also to the LGBTQ community as she processes through her experiences as an independent lesbian woman in a society that doesn’t quite understand her. Allison doesn’t hold anything back, and that is part of her reason for writing her memoir because she had to hide her truths, so her memoir is boldly written to bring focus to these truths.
  2. The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston:
    Kingston writes to a wide audience – men, women, Americans, Chinese Americans, and any who have been suppressed by their culture. She writes to process through her life and recognize what shaped her as a child, but also what she did/does to empower herself to be outside of a stereotype.
  3. Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo:
    Burpo writes to everyone, those who have faith and those who do not. His purpose is to tell the story and bring impact and change to his audience.

I can already see a common theme: 1) tell your story, but not every detail is needed and 2) bring change or impact to the readers is essential, and 3) that’s almost the whole point because they identify something that is wrong in their lives or life in general.

I feel like my audience would be to those who are directly involved with education: students, parents, teachers, staff, administration – those who invest in the students’ lives and the student themselves. I would like to show how they are most important – even the in-between kids that aren’t failing but aren’t getting high grades. I want to place value in their lives.


3 thoughts on “Memoir as a Genre

  1. I’m not entirely sure exactly what Cindy wants us to say about each others’ posts, so I’ll just start talking. I like that you can apply your experience in education to a memoir and have a clear purpose with your writing, and a clear audience.

    (One side note, I really like the Woman Warrior too.)


  2. I’ve never read any of these but I saw the movie for Heaven is For Real and I literally cried through the entire movie. I look forward into seeing how you further connect memoirs to your content area and exploring more about them. I never know what to feel about memoirs, so I hope I can journey with you!


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