S247. Crafting Narrative Identity with Unreliable Memories

A107-109, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Memoir is built on truth, but subject to the whims of memory. How do our unreliable brains affect our ability to tell true stories? What are the techniques writers use when their recollections are obliterated by amnesia, trauma, or the illness and death of familial memory keepers? Panelists discuss diverse approaches to navigating the complicated path toward an honest narrative identity, and share literary strategies for excavating details and rendering emotional truth to the page.



Wendy Fontaine's essays have appeared in Compose, Full Grown People, Hippocampus, Passages North, Readers Digest, Mud Season Review, Brain Child and elsewhere. In 2015, she won the Tiferet Prize for Creative Nonfiction. She recently finished a memoir about finding her way after divorce.

Tanya Ward Goodman is the author of the award-winning memoir Leaving Tinkertown. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications including the Los Angeles Times, Coast Magazine, LuxeFourth River, and Panorama: A Journal of Intelligent Travel. She is working on a second memoir.

Leslie Schwartz is the author of two novels, Jumping the Green and Angels Crest, and the memoir The Lost Chapters. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages. Angels Crest, the movie, was released in 2011. Schwartz has an MFA in creative writing and has taught writing for twenty-five years.

Hope Edelman has published seven nonfiction books, including the bestsellers Motherless Daughters and the creative nonfiction anthology, I'll Tell You Mine. Her articles and essays have been published widely. She teaches workshops throughout the year, including at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival every July.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center