Memoir

Listen

Memoirs. We read them all the time. Blue Nights by Joan Didion. Bossypants by Tina Fey. Night by Elie Wiesel. Most memoirs are deeply personal. They enlighten and provoke, as truths and half-truths are revealed.

Dan Gottlieb and his guests ask what’s at the heart of these life stories? How does memoir writing depict who we are and how we feel about ourselves, others, our circumstances, and surroundings? And what’s its therapeutic value?

We hear from writer Beth Kephart. In the newly released Handling the Truth: on the Writing of Memoir she helps other learn to tell their story and understand why their story matters.

And we talk to social psychologist James Pennebaker. His earlier work found that keeping secrets can make people sick. He discovered people could improve their physical and mental health by writing about their deepest secrets.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.