Identity Memoir

You will be writing stories about yourself and your neighborhood. These stories will come from both past memories and from present observations. Your stories need to

  • have a theme
  • teach a lesson
  • represent an opinion
  • have vivid characters
  • include dialogue
  • use descriptive details

Your stories need to be about how you define yourself. You need to tell stories that answer questions about your identity, such as these:

Your identity memoir should include different kinds of writing. You'll need to write a memory story, an essay, and a description of a weekend in your home and neighborhood. All three of these need to be focused on the same issue or theme connected to "identity." Here are some examples that come from the concerns and questions you wrote about your selves, others, New York City and the World in the first weeks of classes.

  • identity and family
  • identity and getting married
  • identity and having children
  • identity and the future
  • identity and growing old
  • identity and health
  • identity and wealth/poverty
  • identity and romance
  • identity and living in New York City/U.S.A.
  • identity and education
  • identity and suffering
  • identity and work and play

Your themes should arise from these themes, from the drama work you have been doing (identity statues, pantomimes, etc.), and the stories that you have already begun to write (People/places/times/things, "Where I'm from," etc.) We will work with you on this project step-by-step, story-by-story, one piece at a time. You will be freewriting, re-writing, revising, freewriting, acting out ideas, drawing, listing, even "looping"...

Tentative Deadlines:

Monday, September 25, 2000:
Monday, October 2, 2000:
Monday, October 16, 2000:
Friday October 27, 2000:
a memory story
an essay
a home and neighborhood description
Final draft of the entire Identity Memoir

Created by: Paul Allison [email protected] Last updated: September 16, 2000