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participate in the #biographyread discussion today for #rwpchat

April 25, 2017



Biography by Alex M Flickr Commons

The Twitter discussion takes place today, 25 April, starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 8am – 10am GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

At first glance #biographyread could appear to be a very narrow theme. Don’t feel you need to confine yourself to the shelves of biographies and autobiographies however, extensive and popular though they may be, because there are all sorts nooks and crannies you can explore to fit the bill.

Of course, you may wish to take the easiest option and simply read the biography of your favourite author; Claire Harman’s Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart is a great read, and Paula Byrne’s The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things and Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead can really add to your understanding and enjoyment of the subjects’ novels. You’ll find autobiographies in the very same section, The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a much loved account of an inspirational and controversial life.

If you like a little darkness, true crime can be a great black hole in which to lose yourself, and if you wish for a light at the end of the nasty, murky, tunnel, try some misery memoirs for the chance to overcome evil in the end.

Write your own story, and that of your family by delving into family history research, or just watch the experts with a season or two of Who Do You Think You Are?

There’s no need to get too involved, either, you could just hang out on social media; see how your friends and celebrities are constructing the stories of their lives. Borrow a person and get the story face to face.

There’s no need to confine yourself to non-fiction (not getting into any discussion about the reliability of memory, or a tendency for overstatement), you could watch docudramas, read fiction told in first person – historical fiction, romance or crime. Read the story of a city, or novels where a city is a character in the book.

Try a microhistory, alternate history or an oral history. Podcasts are another great way to listen to people’s stories, with the bonus of leaving your hands free.

While you are reading, playing or watching your #biographyread this month, you might like to tweet about it using hashtags #biographyread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about it. You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #biographyread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.


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