- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: University of Georgia Press (June 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 082033166X
- ISBN-13: 978-0820331669
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir
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If you are writing a memoir, read Fearless Confessions. There are some things that can't be taught in a book, but Sue William Silverman teaches you everything that can be! The author of two stunning memoirs herself, she breaks down the complex weaving of a story into discrete elements, such as detail, voice, and plot, with clear, useful guidance on each aspect. Invaluable!(Ellen Bass author of The Human Line)
Fearless Confessions is such a dynamic guide to memoir writing it has inspired me to completely refine and retool the memoir I’m working on. Sue William Silverman, a faculty advisor at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an amazing master of the language. Her prose is as enjoyable as it is instructive. This should be an essential textbook of any creative writing course. She gives examples of memoir pieces and analyzes each one, showing how they work, why they're powerful, and even why some fail to impress.(15 Minutes Magazine)
I dutifully recommend Lamott's Bird by Bird, Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and King's On Writing to my students each term, but I find that I'm particularly excited to inform them of Silverman's new book. Her writing has a tone that's both accessible to readers and uncompromising in its rigorous investigation of what makes for compelling memoir.(Writer Magazine)
Fearless Confessions is a must. I love the way Sue William Silverman exposes the process she used in creating her much acclaimed Love Sick―its struggles, exposures, and empowerment―to teach. A masterful nonfiction writer, Silverman uses her story to guide readers through their own process: how to grasp the use of the senses, mimetic detail, scene, and much more. Her discussion of the Voice of Innocence and the Voice of Experience is sure to become a classic. This book is truly indispensable.(Suzanne Paola coauthor of Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction)
Fearless Confessions demonstrates the range of Silverman's voice, which is conversational and engaging throughout, never lapsing into the dry instruction-manual voice that could have endangered this book . . . Fearless Confessions provides a guide not only to students, emerging writers, and faculty members who teach memoir writing but also to more established writers interested in exploring the genre. Writers will find lessons and examples that they can use, from the first words of their stories-Silverman's 'first bite'-and onward.(Prairie Schooner)
I've wanted a book like this for the courses I teach on memoir and am looking forward to putting it to good use. Silverman's Fearless Confessions is a valuable guide not only for students and teachers but also for those outside the academy who are interested in writing memoir but are uncertain of how to begin.(Janet Mason Ellerby author of Following the Tambourine Man: A Birthmother's Memoir)
Sue William Silverman has yet again written a book that needs to be written, in this case an indispensable guide to the writing of memoir, especially those we might deem 'confessional.' The confessional has long held a vaunted though sometimes controversial place in Western literature, and Silverman not only redeems the value of confession artistically but quite pragmatically gives the novice a means of giving voice to what was previously jumbled and ineffable.(Robin Hemley author of Do-Over!)
From the Inside Flap
Everyone has a story to tell. Fearless Confessions is a guidebook for people who want to take possession of their lives by putting their experiences down on paper--or in a Web site or e-book. Enhanced with illustrative examples from many different writers as well as writing exercises, this guide helps writers navigate a range of issues from craft to ethics to marketing and will be useful to both beginners and more accomplished writers.
The rise of interest in memoir recognizes the power of the genre to move and affect not just individual readers but society at large. Sue William Silverman covers traditional writing topics such as metaphor, theme, plot, and voice and also includes chapters on trusting memory and cultivating the courage to tell one's truth in the face of forces--from family members to the media--who would prefer that people with inconvenient pasts and views remain silent.
Silverman, an award-winning memoirist, draws upon her own personal and professional experience to provide an essential resource for transforming life into words that matter. Fearless Confessions is an atlas that contains maps to the remarkable places in each person's life that have yet to be explored.
Top customer reviews
Sue Silverman asks practical and perceptive questions and offers exercises and expertice to help me write the story I hoped and intended to tell but found I was not skilled enough to achieve without Ms Silverman's expertice and encouragement.
My story is not there yet but I am further along than I ever expected I'd be. Ms Silverman's book is helping me think through and have courage to write a much better memoir than I might otherwise have written. Maybe my voice will be heard. Maybe someone will listen, if, in the process, I learn to write "artfully" with courage and perception.
As Ms Silverman says in her Preface, "The more artfully we write, the more difficult it is to ignore or dismiss our stories. Fearless Confessions is intended to help insure that our voices are heard." Ms Silverman's book accomplishes what she intends.
The wealth of information in the appendices and the Bibliography alone are worth the price of the book. The only reason that I gave it four instead of five stars is that, for me and my needs, it was too directed toward women writing confessional memoirs and the healing process of such writing. Maybe I should have realized this, from title "Fearless Confessions". I respect and value such emphasis and the encouragement that is given to women (mostly) and men (somewhat). I very much enjoyed some samples written by male authors but I desired even more from the male perspective.
Again Sue W. Silverman has those kind of spirit that can not understand hopelessness/helplessness and by reading this book you will be motivated to write no matter what level, or how much doubt you have. My hats off to this woman!!!
The guidelines for specific writing issues such as the arc of the plot, voice, and description, are practical and accessible--great for new and experienced writers. The Appendix contains sample memoir pieces and a healthy list of reading choices at the end.
Highly recommended for writers and teachers.