Eager readers in both Sag Harbor and East Hampton were treated to two great events at BookHampton last weekend.
Local author Lona Flam Rubenstein read from and discussed her historical novel Itzig (Arete Press, 30.00) in Sag Harbor on Saturday afternoon. A story of change and identity, Itzig sweeps across early 20th Century Germany, when the name "Itzig" (translation: "jewboy") was given by Germans to newly emancipated Jews as a joke of a last name. Rubenstein followed her reading with a question-and-answer session and book signing.
Later in the afternoon, BookHampton in East Hampton hosted a standing-room only crowd for Lou Ann Walker's discussion of memoir writing, part of our Winter Lecture Series. Author of A Loss for Words and currently working on her second memoir about life with her husband, she had some fresh advice and interesting exercises for would-be writers. She also answered the audience's questions and signed copies of her book.
"If it's too good or too bad to be true, it won't be believable," Walker advised. "People respond to stories that resonate, and that make some sense." The main reason to write a memoir should be self-expression, she noted, and she offered up a liberating exercise:
"Write a secret that you've never, ever told anyone on a piece of paper. Then destroy the paper; shred it, burn it, eat it — any way you like." The result of this exercise should be some kind of release in one's life. Walker cited blind studies in which the exercise was performed, and students who destroyed their secrets went on to better grades and attitudes about writing.
More exercises from Lou Ann Walker to free up your writing:
- Write about something that prompted a fight — of any kind.
- Write about a moment when you saw someone do something utterly immoral.
- Write about a moment of extraordinary pleasure.
- Write about a time when you experienced a rite of passage.
- Write about a time when you saw your parents do something utterly disappointing.
Join us in East Hampton this Saturday March 5 at 5:00pm as the BookHampton Winter Lecture Series continues. We'll be welcoming Philip Galanes, The Sunday New York Times "Social Q's" columnist. Galanes, the author of the acclaimed novel Emma's Table, writes his weekly column about civility in modern life, answering readers' questions with a wonderful mix of social grace and life-saving wit. He'll take questions from the audience and offer gentle answers.