Preparing for my April 9 - 11 class at Esalen in Big Sur. Reading Ben Yagoda's MEMOIR, A HISTORY, and mulling over the author's contention that "it's hard to find an important American novel that's not some variation on a memoir."
Class is titled Autobiography for Poets, Fiction & Non-Fiction Writers and, admittedly with mixed success, I've tried 'em all. My publications include
Poetry - GOD IS IN THE CRACKS, A Narrative in Voices;
Fiction - A MUCH-MARRIED MAN, A Novel;
Non-fiction - CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS AUTOBIOGRAPHY SERIES (CAAS) Vol. #13 and, in expanded form, Vol. #206.
Anyway, Ben Yagoda writes, “Emerson was writing a veiled autobiography in his essays of 1840s and 1850s, and Thoreau a more direct one in WALDEN… Whitman’s LEAVES OF GRASS was autobiography in verse; so was [Robert] Lowell’s LIFE STUDIES [poetry] a century later. As for fiction, from ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, through THE GREAT GATSBY, THE SUN ALSO RISES, and THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, to THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH and three-quarters of the work of Philip Roth, it’s hard to find an important American novel that’s not some variation on a memoir.” P. 83-4.
Causes Robert Sward Supports
Audubon Society, National Geographic, "Green," the Environment, SPCA...