My Words Are Gonna Linger

Stories are the most powerful way to pass the experiences, wisdom, and voices of one generation on to the next.
This rich collection of 49 stories from real life celebrates the full range of life story writing, from lighthearted stories and deeply felt reminiscence to eyewitness accounts of history. Gathered or written by members of the Association of Personal Historians, the anthology also explores the importance of life review and why these stories matter so
Often the story behind the story is as interesting as the story itself. Back stories and introductory material provide enough practical insights into memoir writing to get you going, whether you are recording your own story or writing someone else’s.

The following excerpts provide a glimpse into the anthology’s contents.

From Beacons of Light in a Dark Time by Quentin Brown.
Every morning just after seven, Schwester Maria blew into our room and greeted us with a cheery Gut morgen! Raus! Raus! (Good morning! Rise and shine!) Blowing a half-inch strand of yellow hair out of her eye, she would cheerily take everyone’s temperature, check our bandages, and fluff our pillows. But she refused to hear any complaints of sickness or pain. Ach! You not sick, you fine! You be good!
With all of her admiration for Herr Hitler and My Hermann, she did her best to make us so-called Luftgangsters as comfortable and happy as possible.

From The Plunge by Sarah White
By the time I was twelve, I carried over 150 pounds on my 5-foot body. Those next years were punctuated with the embarrassing moments of fat people… Shopping in women s departments, where the clothes didn t look like what other young girls wore. Attempts to purchase bathing suits. The pants that split at the thigh or seat at random, public intervals. Then I began the Great Hot Dog Diet. My buddy Sue had read about it in a teen magazine….

From the Preface
The stories in this collection are gathered in three sections; one on why we create personal histories, a second on how we put the pieces together, and a third on the many voices and approaches to life story writing. The background story for each story also sheds light on the process a personal historian experiences helping someone else with their life story.

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