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I, Guinea Pig: Putting the “Experiment” in Experimental Memoir

Sep 30
Sep 30
2:00 - 4:00 PM CT
Freda Love Smith
The Porch House at 2811 Dogwood Pl., Nashville, TN 37204
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In this interactive, generative workshop, appropriate for nonfiction writers at any level of experience, we will explore the appeal of first-person stories that document personal experiments, from Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to Andy Miller’s The Year of Reading Dangerously to Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes.

What draws readers and writers to the promise of transformation? What are the challenges and rewards inherent in this kind of writing? And what experiments do YOU want to conduct and write a book or essay about?

The workshop will be led by retired indie rock drummer and memoirist Freda Love Smith, whose first book (Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir, with Recipes) documents a year of cooking lessons with her oldest son, and whose second book (I Quit Everything: How One Woman's Addiction to Quitting Helped Her Confront Bad Habits and Embrace Midlife) documents her pandemic-driven experiment to quit alcohol, sugar, weed, caffeine, and social media.

Freda will also be at Eastside Bowl at this Saturday evening for an event with former bandmate John Strohm, to celebrate both the release of Freda's memoir I Quit Everything and John's solo album Something to Look Forward To. Get more info and tickets here

Freda Love Smith is a writer, teacher, and retired indie rock drummer. Her first book, Red Velvet Underground, was published in 2015. She teaches at Northwestern University and Lesley University, and she played drums with Blake Babies, Antenna, Mysteries of Life, Gentleman Caller, Some Girls, and Sunshine Boys. Freda reviews nonfiction for Booklist, writes for the Sound of our Town podcast, and is the programming director of Bookends University, the curricular arm of Bookends & Beginnings bookstore in Evanston, IL.

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