Life Stories #45: Dani Shapiro

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Life Stories: Dani Shapiro
illustration: Barry Blitt

“The relationship between the teller and the tale is the tale in memoir,” Dani Shapiro proposes in this week’s episode of Life Stories, a podcast series where I talk to memoir writers about their lives and the art of writing memoir. The book that prompted our discussion, Still Writing, isn’t exactly a memoir, although Shapiro does draw extensively upon her own life in her examination of the writer’s life. At the same time, this isn’t a how-to book—you could call it a creative writing handbook, I suppose, but if so it’s about a particular distillation of advice and experience, or advice refined by experience…

Among the topics we touch upon as we talk: How equipped the publishing industry is (or isn’t) to handle an author’s decision to veer away from her expected literary trajectory, whether Shapiro started publishing too early, the metaphor of the memoirist picking at the scars of the memories that cut the deepest, and what Shapiro has learned from her yoga practice that she brings to the daily discipline of writing.

Listen to Life Stories #45: Dani Shapiro (MP3 file); or download this file directly by right-clicking (Mac users, option-click). You can also subscribe to Life Stories in iTunes, where you can catch up with earlier episodes and be alerted whenever a new one is released. (And if you are an iTunes subscriber, please consider reviewing the podcast there!)

14 October 2013 | books for creatives, life stories |