In Episode 110, Mary Laura Philpott (author of Bomb Shelter) joins me for a deep dive into the memoir & essays genre, including the differences between a memoir and an essay collection, the level of involvement from editors and publishers, and how she personally approaches writing a memoir or essays.
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- Mary Laura talks about her latest book, Bomb Shelter.
- Where memoirs and essay collections fall on a spectrum.
- The fluidity of genre-labeling books.
- A bit about cover design and subtitles.
- How Mary Laura feels about the “Literary” label.
- The planning of an essay collection and their overarching themes.
- Balancing living life for its own sake and living life for good book content.
- How Mary Laura handles telling personal stories and the real people they feature.
- How Mary Laura handles memory and recall in her work.
- The fact-checking process for memoirs and essays.
Mary Laura’s Book Recommendations [32:31]
Two OLD Books She Loves
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell | Amazon | Bookshop.org [32:47]
- Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford | Amazon | Bookshop.org [34:57]
Two NEW Books She Loves
- Let’s Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder | Amazon | Bookshop.org [38:49]
- Marrying the Ketchups by Jennifer Close (April 26) | Amazon | Bookshop.org [40:30]
The CURRENT READING TREND She DOESN’T Love [45:35]
One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
Last 5-Star Book Mary Laura Read
Other Books Mentioned
- I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott [1:02]
- Raven Rock by Garrett Graff [30:14]
- The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett Graff [30:20]
- A Million Little Pieces by James Frey [32:23]
- The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close [42:03]
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [47:42]
- Siracusa by Delia Ephron [51:24]
About Mary Laura Philpott
Mary Laura Philpott is the author of the brand-new memoir, Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives, which has been named an Indie Next pick by booksellers nationwide, an Amazon Editor’s Choice selection, and a best book of the spring or most anticipated book of the year by publications ranging from the Washington Post to TODAY.com, among others. She is also the author of the national bestseller I Miss You When I Blink — which was named one of NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019 and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her writing has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and other publications. Additionally, Mary Laura (yes, she goes by both names) is a former bookseller and was an Emmy-winning co-host of A Word on Words, the literary interview program on Nashville Public Television. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.
In two weeks (May 4), author Dolen Perkins-Valdez joins me discuss her newest book, Take My Hand.
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