Thomas Larson is a critic, memoirist, and essayist and the author of three books: The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease, The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” and The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative. For twenty years, he has been a staff writer for the San Diego Reader.
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In a book-length essay on the evolving, improvisatory world of spiritual literature, Thomas Larson surveys authors old and new who have shaped religious autobiography and spiritual memoir. He shows just how the writer’s craft must prevail to capture the fleeting and personal truths of the spirit in an important addition to nonfiction craft studies.
The memoir is the most popular and expressive literary form of our time. Writers embrace the memoir and readers devour it, propelling many memoirs by relative unknowns to the top of the best-seller list. Writing programs challenge authors to disclose themselves in personal narrative. Memoir and personal narrative urge writers to face the intimacies of the self and ask what is true.