Margaret Morganroth Gullette
I am writing a family political memoir, about becoming a political radical by going to Nicaragua in my forties and working with women there for social justice. It is called There is a World Elsewhere.
Every one of my last three books has used contextualized memoir, either autobiography or biography or both. Reviewers have praised them for their use of personal material. My usual procedure is to use stories or anecdotes—in addition to novels, cartoons, statistics—to make historical and theoretical points about age culture.
Agewise has material about my five-year-old grand-daughter; about myself as a child learning about the progress narrative of the life course from my mother and father, and a chapter about caring for my mother in her nineties, when she was losing memories, called "Overcoming the Terror of Forgetfulness."
Aged by Culture: named a "Noteworthy Book" of the year by the Christian Science Monitor--has an entire chapter about how to turn "Life Storytelling" into "Age Autobiography." The autobiographical narrator--me--goes to a Science museum exhibit showing children about "face aging," describes her "X-er" son's first jobs after graduating from college, and links ideas about "age hierarchy" to bossing a sibling or being bossed by one. Male professors and writers recount stories of how they fell into their middle years.
Declining to Decline--chosen as "best feminist book on American popular culture"--has a chapter called "The Other End of the Fashion Cycle," that opens, "My mother used to buy all my clothes."
"The Contagion of Euphoria," an essay about illiterate women and Nicaraguan colleague who ran two literacy programs for them that I found funding for, won the Daniel Singer Millennium Prize in 2008.
My base of operations is at the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis, where I was part of a memoir-writing group for years.
Resident Scholar, Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis 617-965-2164 firstname.lastname@example.org