Writer Roxanne Sadovsky Recommends Healing Memoirs


We first learned about Rox when one of her students came in to buy recommended reading list titles for a class on writing that Rox was teaching  at The Loft Literary Center.  The student was very excited for the class and the books were ones that make up a good section on writing in a book store.

We asked Rox if she would recommend books for a display, which she did on some of her favorite healing memoirs.  She also taught a well attended writing workshop in the store.  Thanks, Rox.  Here are her recommendations.

On Writing, Stephen King
I can fill pages with why I love this book so much, but what I love most is that it reads just like his novels, full of raw truth, hilarity, deep insight into the human psyche, with no tolerance for bs, (on the page or in life!). And if “you’re in it for the money, honey,” forget about it! Write because you love to write and nothing else. What I love most about teaching this book is how without fail my students dread reading this and then say, “Oh my God! I had no idea he was such a good writer!”The Power of Memoir: How to Write your Healing Story, Linda Joy Myers
So you want to write a memoir, eh?  Great! Everyone is a writer, everyone has a voice… Writing your true story heals, etc.  So yes, write and write and write. Cathart, cathart, cathart! AND…before you publish (or even share with loved ones), you might want to check your intention: Am I writing this to get back at someone? To get rich? To help others get through a hard time? Your intention will come through much louder than the words.

Fearless Confessions, Sue William Silverman
Write your truth. Period. It’s just writing. It’s not nearly as bad or shameful as you think.. And even if it is, can you accept this already? If you are afraid to write your truth and meet yourself on the page, reveal your truth and see yourself for who you are, what kind of life are you living anyway? Just write it.. Worry about who it might hurt later when you start editing. But enough with secrets already.
Junk English, Ken Smith
Like Orwell’s “Politics and The English Language,” only a little easier to swallow. Not because “Junk English” makes light of a very serious epidemic that is currently making us all automatons, but because it’s so frightening, it can’t help but read like satire.
A bit shmaltzy, but a great memoir within a memoir about how to write a memoir.
Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
One of the first memoirs of our time, and as far as I’m concerned, if it was the only one ever written it would do the genre justice. I find that a true memoir makes all characters lovable, no matter what wrong they’ve done. Only through the eyes of a child is such love so deeply conveyed.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of her and the title is dumb; just read it.
The Gift: Poems, by Hafiz
A constant reminder that ever since the beginning of time—well, since 1325 anyway—love is the only thing worth writing about and fighting for. Today, this truth is stronger than ever before.
Dharma Punx, Noah Levine
I wish Id’ve read this when I was a kid.
An amazingly well crafted, deeply feeling, no-victims-here memoir that shows us why love is a verb, not just a feeling.
Devotion, Dani Shapiro
I still want to write my version of the young Bu-Jew/HindJew yogi who finally sees the light and discovers it isn’t nearly as enlightening as we think it will be, yet a billion rays deeper. If I never get around to it, this is the one Id’ve written.
Are You My Mother? Alison Bechdel
I’m not sure if I like this because of my own mother issues or because I’m a therapist who tithes to attachment theory. In any case, just shows to go ya that memoir can take any form and boy is that liberating! What’s next? Texting: the Digital Memoir?   🙂
By far, one of the most crucial books on the planet—for writers, poets, and everyone else. Intense glimpse into our changing neuropathways and where we are headed in our quick fix world if we don’t wake up: a future without empathy. What can save us? Relationships. Relationships feed on time. Take the time to linger in the relationships you write about, with all their human charms and flaws. Linger in the human experience of relating before we forget what it means to relate in this cyber civilization of ours..
Roxanne Sadovsky, (Writing with Rox) MA, MFA is a Twin Cities freelance writer, teacher and healer. At 19, she fled her hometown in LA to study writing and psychology at the Evergreen State College in Olympia and Washington and later earned her masters degree in counseling psychology from Antioch University Seattle (1998) and a master of fine arts degree in creative nonfiction from The University of Minnesota (2004). Roxanne teaches Intuitive Writing and The Healing Memoir at the Loft Literary Center; her private healing practice (Writing with Rox) offers integrative workshops, healing groups, Wild Woman writing retreats/groups, classes in creative expression (memoir/intuitive writing/therapy; drama therapy, adult play therapy), and more in a safe, supportive, and playful community.