R200. CANCELLED: From Darkness to Light: Unearthing Family Secrets in Memoir

Status: Not Accepted

Room 217A, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


Every family has its secrets. But not every family has a memoirist who decides to uncover those secrets! Five writers who devoted recent works to investigating long-held family secrets—secrets which defined their very identities—will walk you through the highs and lows of the process, from interviewing family members who may have conflicted feelings about your project, to the moral and ethical conundrums that inevitably arise, to the intense self-reflection necessitated by this sort of memoir.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: FromDarknesstoLight.docx



Joanna Rakoff is the author of the bestselling memoir, My Salinger Year, the bestselling novel A Fortunate Age, which won the Goldberg Prize for Fiction, and the forthcoming memoir, The Fifth Passenger. She writes for The New York Times and Vogue, and has taught at Columbia University and Brooklyn College.

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Inheritance, Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and the novels Black & White and Family History. She is host of the podcast Family Secrets.

Grace Talusan is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and her memoir, The Body Papers, won the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.

Garrard Conley is the author of the NYT bestselling memoir Boy Erased, translated in a dozen languages and now a major motion picture. Conley is also creator and producer of the podcast UnErased. His work can be found in the New York Times, Time, Vice, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

Tova Mirvis


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center