2 Examples Of Memoir Essay

Real Life Stories: Examples of Memoirs

Read through our library of Featured Memoirs written by people just like you!

The First Moment of...The Sixties
By: Joseph Duffy
I was sure when The Fifties would come to an end. They would end on December 31, 1959, at the stroke of midnight. I was a young boy of eleven at that moment, and my twin brother Jim and I were helping my Mom baby-sit for my sister Betty, who lived across tiny Agate Street from us. It was a big deal, as the decade would be changing, something I had never experienced, as I was too young the last time this happened. Read more.

What Is She Thinking: A Canyon of Quandaries
By: Michele Johnson Keesee
Two beautiful, ocean-blue eyes stared blankly from behind scratchproof lenses. Her mouth gaped, and the sauce from the breadsticks she ate moments beforehand stained the corners of her mouth. Her facial muscles slacked and her shoulders slumped. Her mind had retreated to that special place, her face utilizing its shield, guarding her private thoughts. Read more.

The Ten Second Lesson
By: Norhafizah Manaf
It was during the World Championships Games which was held in Tokyo, Japan in 1991. The 100m mens finals was about to take place. There certainly was a cheerful festive atmosphere that late evening in Tokyo. The sun was just about to set. Read more.

The Polka Dotted Scarf
By: Geetanjali Jha
I remember opening up his big wooden wardrobe and burying my nose into his handkerchiefs. His clothes always had a pleasant, sweet, and mystical smell�not just his clothes, his closets, his bed; his entire room was infused with that intoxicating smell. Read more.

True first-person stories by everyday people and well-known celebrities. You'll be moved and inspired by their heartwarming stories of hope and courage.

1 Year, 12 Issues :: Cover Price: :: Your Price: $16.97
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A Night to Remember
By: Douglas R. Johnson
Tonight is Sunday evening, the first day of daylight savings time. My wife is in bed sleeping now, but what I am relating was what I felt earlier this evening. We were watching Jewel of the Nile together, me on the floor and Peg on the couch. She never made it to the end but I was wide awake. Read more.

A Search for Truth
By: Pamela S. De Leon
I once read that between truth and the search for truth, opt for the second. I believe that sometimes, no matter how hard we search to find the truth, in the end, sometimes it just doesn't matter. Read more.

I Laid My Head in My Mother's Lap
By: Susan Mickelson
She was starting to get anxious and restless, so I sat her next to me on the couch. I had the urge to lay my head on her lap. It has been years since I did that and it brought back a flood of memories of my childhood. Read more.

Snow Hill Sniper
By: Mike Morin
Back when I was a young boy, there were some woods behind our house and in those woods was a dirt road that led to an abandoned sand quarry, complete with a sloping wall of top soil, which in winter became a pretty big and steep snow hill, for a ten year old anyway. Read more.

Mission Space
By: Douglas R. Johnson
For the first 25 plus years of my life, I never got to Florida. Well, after I was married, I went to Florida for the first time as a "Band Parent" with my wife, Peg as chaperones for our daughter's marching band trip. They marched in competitions and actually participated in the parade in Disney World. Read more.

Good Old Days Magazine remembers the best of times from the turn of the century on up through the '50s and all straight from the heart. Written by our readers, each new issue brings you stories and photos of the greatest generation - their first-hand experiences, their laughs, their sorrows, their reactions to inventions, and much more are captured in a personal, nostalgic format. This easy to read collection of memories fascinates and rewards both young and old.

1 Year, 12 Issues :: Cover Price: :: Your Price: $19.97=> Click Here to Buy It Now!

The Night Before Christmas
By: P.E. Adotey Addo
It was the night before Christmas and I was very sad because my family life had been severely disrupted and I was sure that Christmas would never come. There was none of the usual joy and anticipation that I always felt during the Christmas season. I was eight years old, but in the past few months, I had aged greatly. Read more.

Your Memoir
By: You
Growing up in your Hometown...During your lifetime Read more.

As you can see, these are episodes from childhood and early adulthood...memories of good times and bad. We all have chapters in our lives such as these.

Consider submitting your story to appear here. It's easy and if you want, we'll help you write it!

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If you’re interested in sharing your personal experiences through writing, consider learning more about the memoir essay. The following excerpt is taken from Crafting The Personal Essay by Dinty W. Moore. You’ll learn what exactly a memoir essay is and three essential tips to writing one of your own.

What is a memoir essay?

Memoir, obviously, has to do with memory, and though that might mean writing about an event in your childhood, it is well worth remembering that you are by no means so limited. A successful memoir essay might be written about the two years you spent just out of high school working in a small town five-and-dime (back when every small town had a five-and-dime), or it could relate the story of your successful two-year battle with cancer at age forty. You could write a memoir at age seventy looking only at the previous five years and the adventure of building your perfect retirement beach house on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Memoir simply means it happened in the past.

Often, when nonfiction is taught or studied, memoir and the personal essay are placed apart, as separate genres, but the truth is that these two strands have considerable overlap. In theory, one might write memoir and not essay; if, for instance, all that you did was re-create previous events from memory, with absolutely no embellishment or reflection. In practice, however, writers almost never do this. They re-create the past and then reflect on what they have learned, or haven’t learned, about what now makes sense or what continues to be a mystery.

This use of personal experience for reflection—not just “this happened to me,” but “this happened and it gave me occasion to ponder”—distinguishes that thin line between pure memoir and the memoir essay.

Or as James Baldwin reminds us, we are always writing from our own experience, but it is up to us and indeed, our responsibility as writers—to squeeze from our experience “the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give.”

Three Quick Tips For Writing A Memoir Essay

  • When writing your memoir essay, remember the crucial importance of details. Don’t tell us what happened, show us. Don’t just claim that Uncle Clem was a kooky prankster; show him blowing up your family’s garbage cans on the Fourth of July. Don’t assert that your grandmother’s lasagna was the most savory meal ever served, show us the lasagna, layer by layer, and let us smell the tomato sauce, see the flecks of oregano in the ricotta cheese. More importantly, let us see your grandmother, her eyes, her hands, the stoop of her back, the pattern on her apron, and the days she spent preparing ahead for the holiday meal because she believed, as if it were her religion, that food was love.
  • Do your research. Historians can go to the collected papers of famous politicians when they want to re-create the past, but perhaps what you are writing about is so obscure that no one kept a record of any sort. Goodness knows if you are old as me, there are no videotapes of every childhood event, just occasional, out of focus black-and-white photos. But there is still research to be done. First, ask people. If family members are alive, ask them what they remember. Even if the memories seem faulty, they will spur you to remember your own versions. Ask friends from the old neighborhood how they perceived your family. Tell them to be honest. Even if your family no longer owns that small farm out on Butter Churn Road, you can perhaps drive out there, park across the street, and let the contour of the landscape and the placement of the trees jog your memory. Sit a while with those old blurry photographs. The more you remember, you will find out, the more you remember beyond that. Each small memory is a string; pull on it, and something new comes up out of the fabric.
  • Don’t be a hero or a victim. If the story you share is all about how wonderful you are, why should the reader believe you? And why, other than self-flattery, are you even exploring it on the page? Likewise, if you are pure victim, the dish towel tossed around by unfair family and fickle fates, then what is there to be learned? In truth, most of us are flawed folks who try our best, and on some days we do pretty darn well. On other days? Well, maybe it is best to just go to sleep and start over tomorrow. The struggle! That’s what’s interesting.

Buy Crafting The Personal Essay now!

For more information about writing a memoir, take an online writing workshop.

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