Content Tagged ‘Richard Gilbert’

An essay of the empty nest

October 14, 2012 | 33 Comments

My “Wild Ducks,” a braided memoir, appears in River Teeth. The past few years, working on my memoir of farming in Appalachia, I’ve generated tons of material—twice, 500 pages—and have spun some passages into stand-alone pieces. The published ones include an essay on my hired hand who died; another about a legendary pond-builder with a tragic secret; one about the historic first meeting of my future wife and my father; yet another about my father’s return to farming in retirement …

[Read More]

Cheryl Strayed’s back pages

July 24, 2012 | 7 Comments

How Cheryl Strayed feathers her compelling backstory into Wild. . . . I spun the backstory. I dole it out. The trail is a chronological report of my hike; what came before the trail is not chronological. I give you a scene from when I was seven and then another the year before [the hike]. I worked that pretty hard.—Cheryl Strayed in an interview  The second time through Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, …

[Read More]

Studying ‘Wild’ for its structure

July 20, 2012 | 16 Comments

Cheryl Strayed’s memoir is narrative-driven but reflective.  Every book has its inherent impossibility. For Wild it was about me walking alone through the wilderness for 94 days; it could have been really boring. The challenge there was to convey what was happening inside of me. The trail was always there, that was the great constant, but I was always different on the trail.—Cheryl Strayed in an interview I threw out the first act of my memoir in June—it was too …

[Read More]

‘Narrative’ blog honored

February 29, 2012 | 7 Comments

My standards are so low. I don’t feel like I am . . . protecting writing from amateurs or dabblers or those who are simply no good. My students have expressed a profound interest in writing. I let them write what they want to write.—Michael Martone, linked below Marissa, who blogs at Paucis Verbis, has named Narrative [this blog’s first name] one of her top five favorite blogs of 2012 (already!). I am pleased and grateful to her for this notice …

[Read More]