Thursday, May 28, 2009

Literary Inspiration...

I go to these events alone... events such as concerts, theatres and lectures... not because I do not have someone to accompany me but because there are times when I like to experience things on my own.

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture between authors and close friends Danzy Senna and Rebecca Walker. They spoke about their books, the influences for their works and they spoke of family. These talented women have both written remarkable memoirs about their childhoods and life journeys.

Danzy Senna

It was stimulation for my literary mind.

Rebecca Walker


Danzy Senna has written a memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History and Rebecca Walker's memoir is titled Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self. As a result of these women exploring their childhoods and writing such in depth stories about their family, it has caused friction, even estrangement.

I write poetry, fiction and I dabble with a little mystery but I haven't delved into memoir writing.

My mother gets angry when I attempt to do a family tree telling me that I going to find something that I won't like... when in reality, I may find something that she didn't know or something to disturb her perfect idea of the "family history". My father on the other hand would probably not object... mostly because he's a nonobjective man but mostly because of the discovering of facts, he too may find some of his truths...

The dilemma with memoir writing is deciding just what truth to include. Perception, memory and one's feelings all play a part and that's where the problem lies. My version of a memoir will be completely different from one that one of my siblings may write... same parents, same household but so many different encounters...

But what Danzy and Rebecca realized is that they wrote their memoirs in spite of what their parents would say or feel but because there were personal stories inside that needed to be free, stories that would reach out and touch those with familiar lives, stories that will inspire.
While I'm not inspired to write a memoir, I don't know where my writing may lead. There are traces of me throughout my fiction, which I plan to post here one day...

“Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.” --Don Delillo


5 comments:

Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

I go to those events alone as well. The last book signing I took a friend and must admit it wasn't as enjoyable.

Ms. Walker is interesting, she had a long term relationship with one of my favorite musicians Me'Shell. I didn't know she was an author.

Journaling is another way to keep an unofficial memoir. I look back on some of my earlier journal entries from my tweens and think how could someone so young be so tortured? Amazing the things we go through.

MsKnowitAll said...

Kay C... this was the 2nd time I've seen Rebecca Walker and I kept thinking about her and Me'Shell and how she must have towered over her. LOL But really they must have inspired each other - musically, literarily...

I too look at my journals from my younger years and I wonder if I was really in that much pain. We have another something in common...

Lovebabz said...

My Sister-friend Jennifer Baszile, author of the Black Girl Next Door gave me a bit of grand advice about memoir writing. You have to be willing to TELL THE TRUTH.

I have come to realize that I am not ready to house all my truths into a book. But I do think about it from time to time.

I say let the Divine guide you.

Insatiable One said...

I say write it. Its for you anyway and this is something to help you on your journey. Unfortunately we must go through the mess to get to the harsh reality.

Kiayaphd said...

There are some events that I prefer to attend solo too. So, I feel ya on that.

I would love to see some of your writing. Do share!!