What motivated you to make the decision to write your first memoir, In My Skin?
I really wanted to explain to others what sex work and heroin use were actually like and to convey the very intimate personal experience of it all. I felt urgently that people would respond kindly if they knew the reality; I was right.
What advice would you give someone who has written some personal essays, knows they need feedback but is afraid of letting anyone read them?
I know the feeling! I’d find a writing group or colleague, who will understand your venture and be able to experience your work without personal investment in the story. Then I’d move to a couple of willing friends. Probably leave family feedback til the very last.
What is the best memoir you have read, and what made it so good?
I’m actually not much of a memoir reader! But I very much admired and was moved by my friend Alice Williams’s story of yoga teaching and bulimia, Bad Yogi, because she mixed personal evolution with bigger questioning about pain and endurance and made it readable instead of pious by being just really, really funny.
Kate Holden is the author of In My Skin: A memoir and The Romantic: Italian nights and days, both best-selling non-fiction memoirs published by Text, and writes a longstanding column for the Age.She has thought a great deal about memoir and some of her essays and interviews on the subject are at kate-holden.com. Kate’s forthcoming book, The Winter Road, will be released in 2019 by Black Inc.
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