Aug 13, 2009
This past Spring at the Blue Met Writers Festival, Donald Antrim conducted a workshop entitled: Fiction and Memoir: "Writing Ourselves" It was designed to explore the ‘challenging and often frustrating process of reading into one’s own work;’ and to identify aspects of that work which may have been underdeveloped, unnoticed, or even, avoided. As the syllabus put it:
"Fiction and memoir are not, as a rule, brought together in workshops. And yet many of the concerns that are most important to all of us—the technical production of form; the experience of psychological drive within the narrative; and the tangible-seeming, built-from-scratch, moral or immoral world our characters inhabit—are experienced by writers of fiction and memoir. Whatever we write, we may all have cause to wonder about the overt and the embedded evidence of our own experiences, even in works in which autobiographical material is scrupulously occluded. Perhaps, in opening the class to writers of non-fiction and fiction, there will be a fruitful exchange."
Donald Antrim is the author of three novels, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World: A Novel, The Hundred Brothers and The Verificationist: A Novel. His latest publication is The Afterlife (2006). He lives in Brooklyn, New York. We talk about workshops in general, and what happened in Montreal specifically.