S256. You. Yes, You. I'm Going to Write About You. Mom.

Room L100 D&E, Lower Level
Saturday, April 11, 2015
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


If all the world is a stage, then your Mom, your ex-husband, your best friend, and even your teachers are fair game to become characters in your memoir. Right? Or maybe not? We are all writers of memoirs and have come up against the question of how ethical it is to write about people we know. Can a reader sense when a writer is lying? When a writer is just out for revenge? Does the truth always serve the story? Come listen to us talk about what we learned while writing our very different memoirs.



Marie Mutsuki Mockett is half-Japanese and half- American. Her memoir, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye: a Journey, examines grief against the backdrop of the 2011 Great East Earthquake, and Mockett’s family temple, twenty-five miles from the Fukushima nuclear reactor.

Joanna Rakoff is the author of A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction, and the memoir, My Salinger Year. She has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Vogue, and she teaches at Columbia University.

Porochista Khakpour is the author of the novels Sons & Other Flammable Objects and The Last Illusion. She has received fellowships from the NEA, Ucross, Yaddo, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and more. She has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Slate, Elle, and Spin.

Ellis Avery is the author of two historical novels, The Last Nude and The Teahouse Fire, and two memoirs: The Smoke Week and The Family Tooth. The only writer ever to have won the ALA Stonewall Award twice, he teaches undergraduate fiction writing at Columbia University.

Alysia Abbott is the author of Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Vogue, and TheAtlantic.com. A former producer at WNYC radio, she currently teaches at Grub Street.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center