Melanie Brooks is a freelance writer, college professor, and mother living in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, two children
Visit Melanie’s author site: https://www.melaniebrooks.com/
Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma
Beacon Press, 2017
Five years ago, I began writing a painful family story that has now become a memoir, All the Things I Couldn’t Say. Writing into the memories of this part of my life left me with some difficult questions: What does it take to write an honest memoir? And what happens to us when we embark on that journey? Would I survive the process? I decided to approach the writers whose memoirs moved me and ask these questions. Their replies – honest and soul-searing – comprise Writing Hard Stories. This book profiles my conversations with some of our country’s most prolific writers including: Alysia Abbott, Richard Blanco, Kate Bornstein, Edwidge Danticat, Mark Doty, Andre Dubus III, Jessica Handler, Richard Hoffman, Marianne Leone, Michael Patrick McDonald, Kyoko Mori, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Sue William Silverman, Kim Stafford, Abigail Thomas, Jerald Walker, Joan Wickersham, and Monica Wood. These writers invited me into their homes, into their lives, to share the intimacies of finding the courage to put words to their stories. Their candid descriptions of their own treks through the darkest of memories and the details of the breakthrough moments that opened up their stories gave me the mooring I needed to keep writing my own.