Tristine Rainer presents an exhilarating overview of the latest literary trend in America. The author of The New Diary (1978) and now director of the Center for Autobiographic Studies in Pasadena, California, defines this genre of writing as a blend of literature and myth that emphasizes self-discovery.

Rainer begins with a chapter on the tradition of autobiographic writing from Augustine's Confessions through recent works by Maya Angelou and Carolyn See. She outlines nine items of story structure using illustrative material from Russell Baker's Growing Up and Colette Dowling's The Cinderella Complex.

After summarizing the many genres of your life as story, Rainer gets down to a nuts-and-bolts discussion of meaning vs. reminiscence, finding your voice, dealing with your dark side, portraying others, time devices, an anatomy of a scene, and emotional, legal, and ethical concerns. Whether you are an avid reader of memoirs or someone interested in trying your hand at this fascinating craft, here is the best book available on the subject.