S152. The World Splitting Open: From Memoir to #MeToo

B117-119, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
10:30 am to 11:45 am


What would happen, Muriel Rukeyser asked, if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. Women writers began telling the truth about their lives in the 1990’s, writing memoirs about previously off limits subjects such as rape, domestic violence and sexual harassment. Despite criticism by the literary establishment, they persisted. The world began splitting open. We’ll discuss the role women’s memoir has played in one of the most significant social movements of our time.



Janice Gary is the author of Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance, winner of the Sarton Women's Book Award and finalist, Eric Hoffer Award. She is a fellow at VCCA and teaches CNF at ASU's Master of Liberal Arts Program and memoir workshops at writing centers and conferences.

Sue William Silverman’s books are The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew; Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction; Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You; Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Mexican writer Reyna Grande is the author of the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies, which received several awards including an American Book Award. Her memoir, The Distance Between Us, is about her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the US at nine.

Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey was an AWP Award winner. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, and she has coedited an essay collection, Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean. She teaches at Gettysburg College.

Aimee Liu is author of the novels Flash House, Cloud Mountain, and Face. Nonfiction works include Gaining and Solitaire. Her short stories and essays have appeared in more than a dozen anthologies, magazines and literary journals. She teaches in Goddard College's MFA program in Creative Writing.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center