Words matter. These are the best Memoirs Quotes from famous people such as Jane Fonda, Samin Nosrat, Tara Westover, Arthur Phillips, Pat Barker, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Through therapy and a lot of thinking and writing my memoirs, I’ve been able to use my life as a lesson.
I’ve always joked that my food memoirs will be titled ‘Brutta ma Buona,’ the phrase Italians use to describe food that’s delicious but rustic-looking at best: ugly but good.
I read a handful of memoirs to get a sense of what the genre meant. I needed to learn the fundamentals of the craft. I had never written a word of narrative. What is a tense shift, what is point of view? I didn’t know any of it.
The memoir industry is, what’s the word? Under regulated. I think it needs to be pruned. If there are too many books right now and the market for readers is shrinking, I think we can get rid of many of the memoirs. Another memoir should be awfully well justified before it gets published.
‘Undertones of War’ by Edmund Blunden seems to get less attention than the memoirs of Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves, but it is a great book.
It’s hard to get in the head of somebody. The closest we can get is through the words they’ve left behind, either their contemporary correspondence or after-the-fact memoirs.
I had read too many memoirs that were written after the writer or the director was past his or her prime.
Jean Toomer is a phantom of the Harlem Renaissance. Pick up any general study of the literature written by Afro-Americans, and there is the name of Jean Toomer. In biographies and memoirs of Harlem Renaissance figures, his name is invoked as if he had been one of the sights along Lenox Avenue.
I’m embarrassed to say this, but I shy away from memoirs. My feeling is always that I’m saving them for later, so I guess that means I’ll reach a point when I read nothing else.
Maybe the ‘Million Little Pieces’ of the world are so popular because no one ever writes memoirs about PTA chairwomen; what memoirists do, and often get in trouble for, is bring interesting lives to light.
I liked ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs,’ which I did with Neil Simon. I kind of was playing him, as Eugene Morris Jerome, and I played that a few times at the very beginning of my career.
I get about five memoirs per week in my mailbox, and few of them inspire anything but a desire to pick up the channel changer.
I love all insider memoirs. It doesn’t matter whether it’s truck-drivers or doctors. I think everybody likes to go backstage, find out what people think and what they talk about and what specialised job they have.
Something happened when the memoirs of so-called ordinary people, like myself, suddenly hit the bestseller list.
I had worked for George Bush as a speechwriter, and I read a lot of White House memoirs. They all have two themes: ‘It Wasn’t My Fault’ and ‘It Would Have Been Much Worse if I Hadn’t Been There.’
The Dumas memoirs – which I also discovered when I was a kid – had a big impact on me.
Too many memoirs focus on childhoods and it’s a bit turgid.
I have more freedom when I write fiction, but my memoirs have had a much stronger impact on my readers. Somehow the ‘message,’ even if I am not even aware that there is one, is conveyed better in this form.
I’ve given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.
I could make the title of my memoirs: ‘It’s got cinematic disaster written all over it.’
Although I still think of myself as an actress, most of my time is spent writing novels or memoirs about my adventures and travels.
Why was there so much work-sharing in the 1930s? One reason is that government pushed for it. In his memoirs, President Herbert Hoover estimated that as many as two million workers avoided unemployment as a result of his efforts to promote work-sharing.
A lot of presidential memoirs, they say, are dull and self-serving. I hope mine is interesting and self-serving.
‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ is everything you’d expect it to be: beautiful, mesmerizing, tasteful, Japanese. It’s just not very hot.
How much energy is wasted in Italy in trying to write the novel that obeys all the rules. The energy might have been useful to provide us with more modest, more genuine things, that had less pretensions: short stories, memoirs, notes, testimonials, or at any rate, books that are open, without a preconceived plan.
I rent a Jacobean-fronted hunting lodge in Hampshire from the National Trust and like to go there as much as possible. I’ve grown to love it so much, especially when writing my memoirs there at weekends.
The memoirs that have come out of Africa are sometimes startlingly beautiful, often urgent, and essentially life-affirming, but they are all performances of courage and honesty.
I’ve always liked the idea of memoirs, going into someone else’s life, going through someone else’s day and getting out of your own head.
I haven’t written my memoirs or let the television movie be made about my life.
People really want to believe that there is no fiction. I think they find it much easier to imagine that novelists are writing memoirs, writing about their lives, because it’s difficult to conceive that there’s a great imaginary life in which you can participate.
I don’t like memoirs. I think they’re self-serving, and people use them to settle scores, and I really tried not to do that. You have to have a really interesting life to justify memoir, and my life has been pretty ho-hum.
When I was younger, I read all the great food memoirs, by M.F.K. Fisher and Laurie Colwin and Julia Child and Nicolas Freeling and Ruth Reichl, and felt flooded with a sense of comfort and safety.
At 45, I am too young to write my memoirs.
Memoirs are – memory is – rarely 100 percent accurate. Any autobiography is a construct, ballpark, even unnatural. Private diaries, too, can be unreliable – a detail that matters only if the diary is read.
The reader of these Memoirs will discover that I never had any fixed aim before my eyes, and that my system, if it can be called a system, has been to glide away unconcernedly on the stream of life, trusting to the wind wherever it led.
When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do well, that’s Memoirs.
All of Wes Anderson’s films are confections, memoirs created in cinematic snow globes, with the subtext that memory is the most extraordinary confection of all.
People write memoirs because they lack the imagination to make things up.
When I’m dealing with the 18th century, as I do in ‘The Firebird,’ the difficulty isn’t only finding what a woman did, it’s finding her at all. Most of the sources I’m dealing with – letters and memoirs and written reports of the day – have been written by men.
Gelsey Kirkland has had more than her share of demons, as her two distressing memoirs – and her violently checkered career – attest.
We have so many great memoirs from women in front of the camera, from Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, and Amy Schumer.
At times, the reader of World War II literature must think every American, from general to G.I., kept a war diary, later mined for memoirs of the conflict. Few diaries, however, were published in their own right.
I teach at Duke, and I have students who are all of twenty who want to write memoirs, and you know it’s all pretty interesting stuff, but a lot of them lack gravitas, you know.
Someone asked me if I was afraid to write my memoirs. I told him: ‘We have to stop drawing up accounts of fear! We live in a society in which people are allowed to tell their story, and that is what I do.’
I’ve been approached many times to write all sorts of books about my past and my personal life. I get interest from people who want to do reality shows, and somebody just offered me a huge amount of money to write my spiritual memoirs. I’m just not interested.
I toured around the country and met all these Broadway producers who put me in all these Neil Simon plays like ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ and ‘Biloxi Blues.’
Many things embarrass me, but reading isn’t one of them. I’m not ashamed of my slightly weird collection of prison memoirs. Nor the flaky meditation books. After all, I can pretend I never read those.
Chelsea Handler is a good friend of mine, and I always was inspired by the fact that she was taking her life and turning it into these ridiculous, raunchy memoirs. She really has a talent, and she’s a great writer. I was inspired by her trajectory.
I’ve read my grandmother’s memoirs and she served as a nurse during World War II. What they had to do was incredible.
You might think that religion was the one area in which professional jealousy would take a back seat. But no: ecclesiastical memoirs are as viperish as any, though their envy tends to cloak itself in piety.
People think that because a novel’s invented, it isn’t true. Exactly the reverse is the case. Biography and memoirs can never be wholly true, since they cannot include every conceivable circumstance of what happened. The novel can do that.
In the worst memoirs, you can feel the author justifying himself – forgiving himself – in every paragraph. In the best memoirs, the author is tougher on him- or herself than his or her readers will ever be.
Writing the past is never a neutral act. Writing always asks the past to justify itself, to give its reasons… provided we can live with the reasons. What we want is a narrative, not a log; a tale, not a trial. This is why most people write memoirs using the conventions not of history, but of fiction.
Civil servants and government functionaries do not write memoirs because they hope to get more government jobs or assignments.
My memoirs were written, and a portion of them already in the hands of the publishers, when the startling news came which has thrilled all Europe and filled her inhabitants with horror – the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.