Can you trust memory? was the after-lunch focus of journalist/author Steve Luxenberg’s thought-provoking session yesterday at the Family History Writers Conference pre-event to the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California.
Using minimial PowerPoint slides (thank you!), Steve presented a lively discussion of the art and craft of memoir. As a career journalist and the author of Annie’s Ghosts, the story of his own family’s secret, Steve probably has more experience than the typical genealogist in extracting stories from interview subjects.
What I found most interesting was his emphasis not so much on the secret itself, but his obvious delight in the deeper question of why family secrets are suppressed in the first place. At age 40, Steve discovered that his mother was raised with a sister although she always insisted she was an “only child.” Why this simple fact became a family secret is the story of Annie’s Ghosts.
You don’t have to be in Southern California this weekend to hear Steve speak on the art and craft of family history writing. SCGS will be streaming his Saturday afternoon session, live Genealogy Saturday, June 9 – 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PDT
Genealogy from the Inside Out: Tracing the Mysterious From a Single Clue . Read more at the SCGS Jamboree Blog.