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General > Non-chronological memoir suggestions

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hanley Hi- I’m new to the group. Right now I write mostly historical fiction, but I have a memoir in the works as well. I realized after my crappy first draft that I might like to restructure it non-chronologically. I’d love to read some great memoirs that are structured that way, building on the theme but jumping around in time. Any suggestions? Thanks!

message 2: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Stancomb (anthonystancombgmailcom) | 53 comments I recently read quite an interesting book that served as a non chronologicl memoir - 'Stars In Our Eyes' by Wendy Raebeck.
A stylishly written collection of short stories about events from a colourful, albeit rather disaster-filled, life.
She also wrote 'I Did Inhale' which was another collection of short
autobiographicalstories - although these stories were consequential.
Most of all, I recommend David Sedaris's books as examples of the best of highly entertaining non sequential memoir.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hanley Thank you! I’ve read a couple of Sedaris’s book, but will definitely check out Stars In Our Eyes.

message 4: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia | 1 comments "H is for Hawk" is a very well crafted memoir with 3 main themes: the author's grief over her father's untimely death, the author's decision to train a goshawk, and the author's analysis of T.H.White's book, The Goshawk. So, there is a lot of jumping around in time, according to these themes.

A much lighter read is the collection of memoir-ish essays in Barn Dance...Tales From the Herd. While there is a flavor of passing time, as the author grumbles lightheartedly about getting older, there are no real dates, or even years, in which the events take place.

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hanley Thanks! I’ve heard wonderful things about H Is For Hawk- will check it out.

message 6: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Suchors | 9 comments Going a bit further back, "Without a Map" by Meredith Hall is a wonderful book that zooms around in time.

message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hanley Sounds good- added to the list!

message 8: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Boehm (beachmama7) | 86 comments I'm not sure if you want recommendations from those of us who have written memoirs that aren't written chronologically, but I used that technique in MY memoir, "Starting at Goodbye." The story is about my "unconventional" marriage, on again/off again, during which my husband became really ill. Because I didn't want it to feel like a "disease of the week" type of book, I weaved the story back and forth through time. I think it worked out pretty well, but that type of memoir is challenging. If you'd like to take a look at mine, you can read the first chapters for free on Amazon. Good luck with YOURS!

message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Balge (michellebalge) | 13 comments Below are 2 articles that give tips and book examples of non chronological order and flashbacks in memoirs:

message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hanley Marylin, that sounds good, I’ll check it out. And Michelle, thanks for the links!

message 11: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Boehm (beachmama7) | 86 comments
Please remember to spell my name correctly or you won't find the book!!!

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