Currently on view:
$50, $35 mbrs. (discounted price will display for members upon login)
Limit 8 students.
“What is ‘Autofiction?’–Writing Autobiographical Material as Fiction”
This workshop examines the increasingly popular style of autobiographical writing labeled as “autofiction”. Participants will read excerpts from Elif Batuman’s “The Idiot,” Ben Lerner’s “Leaving the Atocha Station,” Karl Ove Knausgard’s “My Struggle,” and Roberto Bolaño’s short stories, among others.
Participants will also brainstorm and engage in dialogue and writing exercises about memories, scenes, or narratives within their own lives that could be written as fiction or nonfiction, and examine the differences between the two modes. Rey Lescure provides insight, exploring the ethics of labeling material as “memoir” or fiction and the consideration of other people involved in the story.
Participants will complete a writing project by the end of the workshop day where the same lived story is told in two versions: one nonfictional, as close to the actual experience as the author can narrate, and one fictional, where the author can take the liberties they’d like, if any. A few participants may choose to share their dual versions of the story without revealing which is fictional and which is not, and hear back from the class about the difference in reading experiences of the texts.
Participants will gain a greater appreciation for engaging with different modes of narrative as a writer–including consideration of whether to narrate material in the form of an essay, a memoir, or a short story or novel, and what the goal of their writing is–to approximate reality, conjure emotions, record an atmosphere, push the narrative potential of lived events to heightened forms, etc.
sponsored by Wonderdog Studios
Aube Rey Lescure is a French-Chinese-American writer who currently works as the Deputy Editor for Off Assignment. Aube grew up between Provence, northern China, and Shanghai before graduating from Yale University in 2015. She is the co-author of Creating a Stable Asia (Carnegie Press 2016) and the translator of the essay anthology Le Système Économique Chinois Face à ses Défis (éditions Nuvis 2017). She has received support as the 2019-2020 Ivan Gold Fellow at the Writers’ Room of Boston, a Pauline Scheer Fellow at GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator Program, and a recipient of the Salty Quill Writers’ Retreat scholarship. Aube’s fiction and creative nonfiction has appeared in the Jellyfish Review, Entropy Magazine, Medium, World Nomads, the Yale Daily News Magazine, the Yale Herald, and the Yale Globalist. She is currently working on her first novel.
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