Life Writing

Life Writing

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Appropriate for undergraduate composition courses, from freshman courses concentrating on personal writing to advanced courses on life writing and/or the essay.

It offers selections that move from writing for oneself (journals and diaries) to writing for an audience (letters); from writing based on personal experience (autobiographies) to writing based on research (biographies). This development culminates in the essay, a form of writing in which personal experience and gained knowledge are shared with a public readership.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 152.4 x 225.8 x 16.3mm | 467.89g
  • Pearson
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0130792373
  • 9780130792372

Back cover copy

Life writing involves an in-depth investigation into the nature of self and others that grows out of self-awareness and identification with others. As writers, we must always begin with what we know best-- our own experience of the world--and attempt through words to make that experience meaningful for others.
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Table of contents

1. Journals and Diaries: Keeping a Daily Record.

On Keeping a Notebook, Joan Didion. A Voyage of Discovery, Christopher Columbus. My House in the Woods, Henry David Thoreau. Diary of a Civil War Soldier, W.P. Winans. The Mormon Migration, Priscilla Merriman Evans. Passing Thoughts,Sherwood Anderson. The Bombing of London, Virginia Woolf. A Visit with Jody, May Sarton. Down the River with Thoreau, Edward Abbey.The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank.

2. Letters: Communicating with Another.

On Inoculation with Smallpox, Voltaire. Letters to His Son, Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield. The Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln. A Trip on Horseback, Elinore Rupert Stewart. Chhatarpur, Central India, E.M. Forster. Letter from Africa, Isak Dinesen. Walden, E.B. White. Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. Between Sisters: An E-Mail Exchange, Denise Stodola and Sandy Rubinstein.

3. Autobiography: Composing the Self.

Confessions of an English Opium Eater, Thomas De Quincey. An Early Woman Doctor, Bethenia Owens-Adair. An Indian Woman Looks Back, Sarah Winnemucca. Looking Things Over, Zora Neale Hurston. Books Are My Alma Mater, Malcolm X. Where I Come From Is Like This, Paula Gunn Allen. Back, bell hooks. The Beat in the Jungle, Arthur Ashe.

4. Biography: Writing a Life.

The Butchering at Wounded Knee, John Neihardt.The Delany Sisters: Jim Crow Laws, Sarah and Elizabeth Delany (with Amy Hill Hearth). Richard Hickock: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote. Gloria Steinem: The Transforming Interlude, Carolyn G. Heilbrun. Leonard Bernstein: Beginnings for a Musical Genius, Joan Peyser. No Name Woman: My Aunt, Maxine Hong Kingston. Zora Neale Hurston: Before Her Time, Alice Walker. Daniel Boone: The Rescue, John Mack Faragher. Dian Fossey: Among the Great Apes, Sy Montgomery. Stevie Wonder: Music Is His Life, Giles Smith.

5. The Essay: Reflecting on the World.

Once More to the Lake, E. B. White. A Hanging, George Orwell. The Brown Wasps, Loren Eiseley. Lincoln Up Close, Gore Vidal. A Mask on the Face of Death, Richard Selzer. On Going Home, Joan Didion. The Fixed, Annie Dillard. Straightening Our Hair, bell hooks. Mother Tongue, Amy Tan.
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Rating details

4 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 25% (1)
3 50% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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