Category Archives: memoir

Sunday Salon: Writers on Writing

What: Adventures in Pen Land: One Writer’s Journey from Inklings to Ink

Who: Marianne Gingher, with illustrations by Daniel Wallace

Why: Because this is a cool concept – an illustrated book – remember those? I read about this book in the Arts section of our local Sunday newspaper this week, and I’m intrigued for several reasons.

gingher1I’ve never read any of Gingher’s novels, but hers was among my favorite entries in The Store of Joys: Writer’s Celebrate the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Fiftieth Anniversary. I became museum editor shortly after this compilation, published in 1996, which featured North Carolina writers and poets commenting on a work in the museum’s collection.

I recently listened to the audiobook of Big Fish (which also became a film that I have yet to see) by Daniel Wallace, and I loved it. I’m a sucker for mythology ever since Latin class in the early 1970s. Wallace designed greeting cards before hitting the big time with Big Fish. Gingher also teaches English at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the collaboration sounds perfect.

According to the article, Gingher chronologically describes her literary struggles in a series of essays both poignant and funny. I love reading books about writing, so I’m looking forward to this one.


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Filed under memoir, Nonfiction, Salon Sundays, Southern fiction, The Sunday Salon

A Girl Named Zippy

Who: Haven Kimmel

Why: A clever, amusing, engaging memoir of growing up in the Midwest. I listened to the audiobook version, although I also own the book. Kimmel has a new book out, Iodine,  that I intend to read, along with her two other novels, She Got Up Off the Couch and Something Rising (Light and Swift) . She now lives in Durham, NC, and is a graduate of the creative writing program at N.C. State University, also my alma mater and where I now work. But I would love this book regardless of any local ties, because it’s a happy, lovely memoir.

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The Tender Bar

Who: J.E. Moehringer
 Anytime you’re feeling nostalgic for those glory days
Why: It took me the longest time to figure out that tender bar = bar tender. Duh! This is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. The characters are authentic – to me, at least. A funny and poignant read, chock-full of people I cared about and, in a roundabout fashion, recognized.

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Filed under memoir, Nonfiction