The Memoirist

1) A memoirist is remembering useful truth seen through a child’s wisdom.

2) A memoirist enters into a contract with readers (blood kin and strangers) to tell events the way they really happened. Of course, the telling is according to the memoirist’s perspective. The beauty of the genre lies in the concept of selection. I, the memoirist, get to choose from all the scenes of my life what goes into my book, and I get to juxtapose the scenes according to my preference. This process is like making a storyboard for a documentary film, a real-world, plain picture. Those are two great words to me: “plain picture.” I also have positive feeling about the word “neutral.” We hear so much about the concept of passion, but to be neutral is to understand much and be governed by restraint. Restraint was a trait of my maternal ancestors, and some of them are in my memoir. What a privilege I have had to revisit as a writer people born in the time frame 1884 to 1923.

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