F227. Immortalizing Our Beloveds: The Risks and Rewards of Writing About Family

C124, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Friday, March 29, 2019
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Acclaimed memoirists discuss the fraught yet thrilling adventure of writing about love and marriage, parenthood, sex, family history, and other deeply, dangerously personal stories. What are the boundaries? What's safe to expose, and what's off limits? (As one writer's wife put it: "We do not have sex in this book.") How should a writer honor their loved ones, negotiate with a partne, parent, or child, yet remain loyal to the story? And how can memoir, according to Mary Karr, "immortalize our beloveds"?



Adrienne Brodeur is the Executive Director of Aspen Words, a program of the Aspen Institute. The founder of Zoetrope: All-Story magazine, Adrienne worked as a book editor from 2005–2013. She has had essays in The New York Times, and her memoir, Wild Game, is forthcoming.

Neal Thompson is a journalist and the author of five books, including A Curious ManDriving with the Devil, and the 2018 memoir Kickflip Boys. Thompson manages the Amazon Literary Partnership; he previously ran Amazon's Best Books of the Month program and co-owned the Amazon Book Review blog.

Cinelle Barnes, a memoirist, essayist, and educator, has received fellowships from Kundiman and VONA, and she is the writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art. Her writing has appeared in CatapultLiterary Hub, and Buzzfeed, among others. Monsoon Mansion was her debut memoir.

Nicole Chung is the author of the memoir All You Can Ever Know. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Longreads, Hazlitt, and BuzzFeed, among many others. She is the web editor in chief of Catapult and the former managing editor of The Toast.

Claire Dederer is the author of the memoirs Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning and Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Poses, which was a national bestseller and has been translated into twelve languages. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The Atlantic, Vogue, The Nation, and The New York Times.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center