Entries by Suzanne Sherman

What’s Important in Memoir?

I spoke with Mag Dimond on Facebook Live, on her show, “Writers Coming Together.” We talked about writing memoir — what’s needed in a book people will want to read — and much more. I talk about what I learned creating my book Girlhood in America, about some of the aspects of life that showed […]

Mother’s Stories

The holiday always falls on a Sunday, and for many it involves a Sunday brunch for Mom. As time marches on, Mom’s story changes, though the day on the calendar stays the same. Mom may be older, she may not be well, she may have passed on. For many, Mother’s Day becomes a sad reminder. Whether or […]

Being a Teenager

Almost spitting with bitterness forty years after the fact, an aunt told me recently about a man she saw at a high school reunion. “He used to call me pimple on a stick!” she cried. I had to laugh. At thirteen I would have traded her my good complexion in a minute to have been […]

What’s New About Being a Girl?

Young girls are vulnerable and aware, influenced by everything around them. They can show a time period more truly than those with more knowledge can. As a memoir teacher, consultant and writing coach, I’ve seen a fascinating palette of realities and relationships, and I share some of it in Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 – […]

Chasing Horse-Drawn Fire Engines: Excerpt

I interviewed Mary Ann Natly for Girlhood in America in the summer of 2010, when she was 103 years old. A small spritely woman, she was in the gym more often than she was in my memoir class. When I entered her apartment for the interview, she apologized for her stacks of papers and books. “I’m […]

Raggedy Ann—A Legendary Doll

I’m a 1960s kid, and I don’t mean a flower child, I mean I was playing Slip n’ Slide and drinking Fizzies all summer in LA. Being so young in the 1960s meant being the unintended guinea pig for products I loved to eat, like chocolate Space Food Sticks, Shake a Pudd’n, chocolate peanut butter […]

The View Across 100 Years

The personal story shines a light like nothing else can. And what better way to see what can happen in a girl’s life across a century than to hear some from the first and last stories of Girlhood in America? I’ve selected a portion of a story from Chapter 1, The 1910s, and a portion of […]

Thanksgiving Without Electricity

For the past fifteen years, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving at my friends’ rustic cabin in Jenner, on the stunning North Coast. There’s no cell service in Jenner and no electricity at the cabin, but the big room where we saute mushrooms for a savory gravy on the propane stove and pull trays of baked potatoes and […]

Every Decade Has Its Flavor

Every decade has its flavor, and in Girlhood in America the flavor of each decade between 1910 and 2010 is deliciously clear. The 1910s open the book, with a short history of the country that includes what life was like for girls under thirteen years old. Pop culture highlights follow at the start of every chapter, […]