“If our oldest metaphor tells us that life is a journey, then the memoirist is a traveller. But she is no tourist sifting through her life experience in search of entertainment and souvenirs. Instead she is a pilgrim who wanders the vast landscape of memory in search of meaning and truth”
Krista Bremer, the award-winning author of A Tender Struggle and the associate publisher of The Sun, is passionate about the art of telling true stories. Since the beginning of time, she says, human beings have relied on stories to tell us who we are, where we came from, and how we will survive. Telling personal stories helps us to heal, strengthens community, and allows us to pass hard-earned wisdom to future generations. Previously considered secondary to fiction in literary circles, memoir has undergone a resurgence in the publishing world. Memoirists have unique opportunities to create intimacy with readers, to highlight the political aspects of personal experience, and to remind us of the universal aspects of the human condition. In our struggles and our transcendence, we are never as alone as we think we are.
Turning life experience into literature is an art. How do we identify the stories worth telling – and how do we gain necessary perspective about our experiences? How do we turn ourselves into characters on the page, and navigate the ethical challenges of writing about the people we love? How do we identify and silence the internal voices that keep us from writing altogether? As a teacher of memoir, Krista has explored these questions and more with students on college campuses, in prisons, and at weekend writing retreats in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and on the Big Sur coastline of California. This year she brings her passion and insights to Anguilla for Lit Fest 2016, teaching memoir workshops at an Anguillan high school and a community center and giving a talk about the art of memoir on Saturday, May 21.