Life Story Links: December 11, 2018
“I do not understand how memory works, I say, how we think we remember things that never happened and how we can forget the things that have. I want to know what I would find if I unspooled my memories and laid them out against my mother’s and my grandmother’s. I imagine the textures and seams of our competing recollections; I imagine them synthesizing to form a richer whole.”
—Crystal Hana Kim
First Person Reads
EATING TO AMERICA
“When I wanted to have a family just like everyone else’s I could slide into a booth at Pizza Hut and in the darkly lit restaurant my odd family could almost pass for a mom and a dad and two kids, and maybe even American ones, as long as we whispered,” writes Naz Riahi in this delicious read.
CUTS AND QUESTIONS
“He ran his hands through his hair inspecting just like he had inspected my sewing at age seven, my planting at age twelve, and my oil change at age fifteen,” writes Yollotl Lopez in her tribute to eight years of hair cutting—and loving ritual—with her father.
SCENES FROM A LIFE
In “The Proposal and the Purse,” personal historian Deborah Wilbrink relays scenes from an almost-relationship. Her first-person vignette, hosted on Sarah White’s True Stories Well Told site, is indicative of the type of writing Sarah teaches in her flash memoir classes.
Remembrance, Reminiscence & Legacy
CELEBRATING HANUKKAH WITH STORIES
“Unless people intentionally take the time to ask questions, we often don’t get to hear the stories of our elders,” says Rabbi Susan Goldberg, who designates Hanukkah as an optimal time to ask those questions.
PEARL HARBOR MEMORIAL
For the first time, there were no survivors of the USS Arizona at the annual ceremonies marking the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. “It wasn't the pages of a book—it was your life. It was your mother, your brother. It was your house going up in flames in bombings.” Memories that survivors have carried for so long live on in oral histories.
In my latest post I share thoughts from the 2018 International Reminiscence & Life Review Conference including compelling anecdotal evidence on the value of reminiscence work, research challenges, and the shifting nature of autobiographical memory.
...and a Few More Links
The best reviewed memoirs and biographies of 2018
How millennial parents are reinventing the family photo album
“If you want to write a great book, hire a scribe.”
The StoryCatcher app has been updated.