The Art of Memoir: A Story That Must Be Heard

Saturday, April 28 | 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Current Affairs
  • History
  • Literary

Francisco Cantu, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Elizabeth Rosner, moderated by Marie Mockett

Memoir writers have the especially challenging task of confronting their own past and creating themselves as a character. The subject must be core to the writer’s own identity and moral agenda to drive this kind of ruthless introspection and risk. In a haunting memoir, Francisco Cantu tells of his difficult stint as a U.S. Border Guard, the reasons he walked away, his attempts to use what he learned to help an apprehended friend, and the controversy over his story. With “Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory,” Elizabeth Rosner explores not only her own experience as the daughter of Holocaust survivors—the book is organized around trips with her father to Buchenwald—but questions of trauma, memory, and loss as survivors die but their stories must not. In “Real American: A Memoir,” Julie Lythcott-Haims—Harvard-trained lawyer and the only child of an African-American father and white British mother—is “a courageous, achingly honest meditation on what it means to come to consciousness as a mixed race child and adult in a nation where Black lives weren’t meant to matter,” said Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow.”

The Brower Center - Tamalpais Room