“I am a foodie; I always have been, and I’m not ashamed to admit it,” says Fliss on her blog All Lit Up as she opens a post titled Food For Thought: Three Food Memoirs. That was enough to get me – a fellow foodie - to read it. But the post contains some lessons for memoir and family history writers as well.
One of the most perplexing problems encountered by many people who want to write a memoir or family history is how to organize their books. The might do well to look at the three books Fliss reviews.
Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser
The book covers a period between when Hesser, a food writer, meets her future husband and their wedding day. The chapters were originally written as articles and each is followed by a series of recipes.
French Milk by Lucy Kinsley
This, says Fliss, is “a graphic novelesque travelogue of a monthlong vacation in Paris,” during which “Knisley is almost totally obsessed with food.”
Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard
This memoir covers the first few years of Bard’s life after she moves to Paris. It is well-seasoned with recipes.
Each of the three books is an example of a writer successfully creating an interesting book by limiting the scope of their stories both chronologically and thematically. By organizing their books around a single topic the writers assured a unity of purpose and coherence.
These books are examples of an organizational technique that will work for both memoir and family history and for a multitude of topics.
Click here to read Fliss’ reviews.