Closer to the Truth: Translating Memory Into Fiction with Debra Jo Immergut (Sold Out)
8 Sessions via Zoom
Out of stock
Once a week Mondays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT October 26 to December 14, 2020
This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist please email Thierry Kehou at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fiction is an extraordinary machine for distilling deeply personal experience into art. In this generative workshop, we’ll examine how writers of stories and novels can most effectively harness that machine’s power.
In creating our fictional pieces, we’ll keep in mind Joan Didion’s observations about the differences between truth and fact (“how it felt to me: that is getting closer to the truth”). We’ll explore various ways to mine our lives for powerful raw material while avoiding overexposure. We’ll consider when it’s best to hew close to “real life” in our imagined worlds and when it’s better to recast, reshape, or simply lie about everything for greater narrative drive and resonance.
Each session will focus on a different element of story construction, providing a theme for readings, in-class writing, and workshopping each other’s pieces. We’ll discuss the blurred lines between fiction and autofiction, and we’ll try to locate the best place for our own work along that continuum. By the course’s end, I hope students will share my belief that every life can yield ample and gorgeous material for stories, novels, and more.
- Week 1: Sense Work
- Week 2: Summoning Characters
- Week 3: Excavating Stories
- Week 4: Following Mystery
- Week 5: Finding Center and Edge
- Week 6: Reaching for Resolution
- Week 7: The Words
- Week 8: The Well
Capacity: 12 students
This workshop will take place online via Zoom. Participants will receive instructions for access prior to the first session.
Debra Jo Immergut
Debra Jo Immergut
Debra Jo Immergut is the author of You Again, published by Ecco/HarperCollins in July 2020, and The Captives, a 2019 Edgar Award finalist for Best Debut Novel by an American Author, published in the US by Ecco and in over a dozen other countries. She has also published a collection of short fiction, Private Property (Random House). Her essays and stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Narrative, and the New York Times, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of Michener and MacDowell fellowships, and has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
By Debra Jo Immergut
By Debra Jo Immergut
Published by Ecco Press
Abigail Willard first spots her from the back of a New York cab: the spitting image of Abby herself at age twenty-two—right down to the silver platforms and raspberry coat she wore as a young artist with a taste for wildness. But the real Abby is now forty-six and married, with a corporate job and two kids. As the girl vanishes into a rainy night, Abby is left shaken. Was this merely a hallucinatory side effect of working-mom stress? A message of sorts, sent to remind her of passions and dreams tossed aside? Or something more explosive and life-altering?
As weeks go by, Abby continues to spot her double around her old New York haunts—and soon, despite her better instincts, Abby finds herself tailing her look-alike. She is dogged by a nagging suspicion that there is a deeper mystery to figure out, one rooted far in her past. All the while, Abby’s life starts to slip from her control: her marriage hits major turbulence, her teenage son drifts into a radical movement that portends a dark coming era. When her elusive double presents her with a dangerous proposition, Abby must decide how much she values the life she’s built, and how deeply she knows herself.
About this series
We strive to make our classes the most inviting and rewarding available, offering an intimate environment to study with award-winning, world-class writers. Each class is specially designed by the instructor, so whether you’re a fledgling writer or an MFA graduate polishing your novel, you’ll find a perfect fit here.
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