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CNF 42 W — Family Memoir: Making the Skeletons Dance

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 24—Dec 7
Drop Deadline: Sep 27
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Anne Zimmerman
Limit: 17
Status: Registration opens on 08/20/2018
Please Note: No class the week of November 19. Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 7/2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 24—Dec 7
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 27
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Anne Zimmerman
Limit
17
Registration opens on 08/20/2018
Please Note: No class the week of November 19. Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 7/2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance. —George Bernard Shaw

In this ten-week, all-levels course devoted to writing the family memoir, our skeletons will dance and our ghosts will howl as we uncover great personal and universal truths through the intimate study of family. We will begin by excavating our memories. Next, we will tackle our people—whether good, bad, or ugly, we will work to render them authentically on the page. Along the way, we will learn how research and interviews can help us write even richer and more authentic prose. Our attempts will be guided by the close reading of Fierce Attachments: A Memoir by Vivian Gornick, along with work by Mary Karr, Tara Westover, J.R. Moehringer, and others. Weekly writing prompts will help unlock a larger personal story that we’ll workshop in the second half of the course. During the quarter, you should expect to write twenty pages of polished work and gain a true understanding of the bigger story and deeper truths that you, as a writer, are hoping to share. After all, every family has a story to tell, and this one is all yours.

Please note: The required reading is different than what's listed in the print catalogue. Students will now be reading Fierce Attachments: A Memoir by Vivian Gornick instead of Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims.

Anne Zimmerman, Author

Anne Zimmerman’s first book was An Extravagant Hunger: The Passionate Years of M.F.K. Fisher. She has compiled and introduced two subsequent collections of Fisher’s work: Love in a Dish… and Other Culinary Delights, and M.F.K. Fisher: Musings on Wine and Other Libations. She has written for Mix Magazine, Meatpaper, Culinate, The Kitchn, Tasting Table, Diner’s Journal, Edible Communities, and other publications.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Vivian Gornick, Fierce Attachments: A Memoir (FSG Classics) (ISBN 0374529965)
(Required) Judith Barrington, Writing the Memoir: From Truth To Art (Second Edit, 2nd Edition) (ISBN 0933377509)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)