Books on writing a memoir, with extra credit: not your own
June 5, 2012 6:49 PM   Subscribe

Books on writing a memoir, with extra credit: not your own

My awesome father in law is writing a book about his late father's experience in World War II, based on historical accounts and on preserved correspondence from that time. For the upcoming Father's Day I'd like to give him a book on writing memoirs.

Zinsser is an obvious candidate, but given that it's a bit like a memoir but not really his own memoir, and a bit of a biography but not really a biography, I wonder if the writers of MeFi have better suggestions.
posted by kandinski to Writing & Language (3 answers total)
Best answer: The Library of Congress subject term, "Autobiographies -- Authorship" seems a good fit. Worldcat serves up several potentially interesting titles, and hopefully someone can come along and give you some more specific recommendations.
posted by GPF at 7:25 PM on June 5, 2012

Best answer: Are you looking for a book written by someone about what happened during the process of writing his/her memoir, or more of a practical guide that will help with writing, ideas, etc.? If the latter, Old Friend from Far Away by the wonderful Natalie Goldberg.
posted by janerica at 8:42 PM on June 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, Janerica and GPF.

Yes, I am looking for a book on the technique of writing memoirs. My FiL has expresssed to me how difficult it is for him to find the proper tone when reconstructing things he didn't live himself, and he is piecing together from public documents and private correspondence. Maybe I should be looking more for books with advice on writing biographies than memoirs.
posted by kandinski at 3:16 AM on June 6, 2012

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