The Two-Way Mirror: Writing Memoir with Andrea Avery
About the Class
Have you ever set down to write about your own life and felt like you were howling maniacally about yourself, to yourself, in a locked room? Or have you felt like you were standing coolly apart from your own exciting life, clinically reporting on it? If so, consider the idea of the two-way mirror as a metaphor for memoir writing. We have all seen two-way mirrors on hardboiled cop shows--the suspect sees only him or herself, but the unseen observers on the other side see everything. A good memoir is a little bit like a two-way mirror, except that the memoirist is both suspect-subject (staring back at herself) and cop-author (detached, analyzing, questioning everything). In this class, students will explore that delightfully complicated task before the memoirist: to candidly examine the stuff of one's life while filtering that self-examination through a more removed, strategic artistic lens. We will accomplish this through guided discussion of mentor texts, in-class writing exercises, and workshop devoted to each participant's own memoirs in progress.