Leslie Absher & Laurie Wagner
Breaking Family Secrets: The Move into Memoir
Please join me in welcoming journalist and memoirist, Leslie Absher, the author of Spy Daughter, Queer Girl: In Search of Truth and Acceptance in a Family of Secrets.
Leslie Absher knows the cost of keeping secrets. Growing up as the queer daughter of a father who worked for the CIA, but who didn’t admit it for years, coming and going, but never telling the family where he was off to, she understood that in her family, there were topics that were not to be discussed. She also knew the value in speaking her truth.
So begins Absher’s powerful memoir of discovering who her father was, what he did for a living, and specifically his involvement in the famous 1967 Greek coup, where with CIA support, a right-wing military dictatorship overthrew the Greek government.
But as Absher uncovers her father’s identity, she also learns something about her own secrets: she was queer, but kept it to herself. Like her father, she participated in the Absher Silence, living a double life.
Please join us for a thoughtful discussion about the journey of writing memoir:
- Uncovering the DNA of family secrets and how they get carried on
- Using research to unearth the parts of the story you don’t know how to tell
- How to successfully invent scenes to bring a story alive
- Revealing yourself in the story, telling your own deeper truths
- Getting to the heart of what your memoir is really about
- Creating drama through character, dialogue and scene
Our hour and a half will be helpful to anyone writing or considering memoir.
Leslie Absher is a journalist and essayist. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Salon, the Independent, Ms., Greek Reporter, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was runner up for the X.J. Kennedy Award in Rosebud Magazine, as well as for Bellevue Literary Review’s nonfiction contest.
She received a master’s in education from Harvard, taught G.E.D. to high school dropouts, and currently teaches writing and study skills to middle school and high school students. She lives in Oakland with her comic book writer/lawyer wife.
Spy Daughter, Queer Girl was a 2023 finalist for Publishing Triangle’s Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Non-fiction and the Northern California Book Award for Best Creative Nonfiction.
More about Leslie on her website – https://leslieabsher.com/
Live Online ::
Leslie Absher & Laurie Wagner
This is the video replay of the live January 2024 class.
I’m excited to be partnering with Chapter 510, a nonprofit group in Oakland serving black, brown, and queer kids, ages 7- 18. Chapter 510 is a writing, bookmaking & publishing center that wants every young person in Oakland to write with confidence and joy. Chapter 510 believes that writing is an act of liberation, and that young people transform themselves and their communities when they write and get published, succeeding in work, school, and life. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to supporting their free creative writing programs for black, brown, and queer youth.