NAME YOUR SHAME—HOW TO TELL THE STORY YOU'RE SCARED TO TELL (AND WHY YOU SHOULD)
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 new; $120 returning
Each of us has faced painful or humiliating experiences in our lives and writing can be a therapeutic act for both the writer and the reader. Sandra Cisneros said, "I tell my younger writers not to write about the things that you remember, but the things that you wish you could forget." What if our greatest story lies in the memories and secrets we’ve kept buried for so long?
In this seminar, we will read and discuss excerpts from memoirs about painful experiences, as well as complete writing exercises in which we’ll approach sensitive topics in our own lives. Integrating techniques from narrative therapy in a safe and non-judgmental space, students will build confidence in writing about delicate subjects and potentially find resolutions not seen before.
This seminar is open to students of all levels. It will be held in El Sereno where coffee, sparkling water, and light snacks will be served.
August 19, 2018
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Erica Garza is the author of the memoir, Getting Off: One Woman’s Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction, which has been featured at The New York Times, Elle, VICE, The Guardian, The LA Review of Books, Cosmopolitan, Megyn Kelly TODAY, and NPR. Her essays have appeared in TIME, Glamour, Health, BUST, Good Housekeeping, The Cut, The Los Angeles Review, and Salon. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy from the Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy. Born in Los Angeles to Mexican parents, she has spent the majority of her adult life traveling and living abroad.
“The memoir shines light on the lonely (albeit impressively multi-orgasmic) world of a woman who binges not on food or pills, but on hookups and 'getting off'. . . her prose is appealingly no-frills and accessible. She writes in the style of one who knows better than to linger too long on the eroticism of her memories—one who has learned the hard way how crucial it is to keep the dangerous rushes of euphoric recall in check. . . In reading Garza’s insight into her own experiences, we better understand ourselves. . . the strong final chapters, sublimely set in Southeast Asia, are both inspirational and, dare I say it, still pretty kinky.” —New York Times Book Review
"Garza frankly and unflinchingly chronicles these experiences. . . Garza’s memoir is the rare sex addiction narrative from a female perspective, and a profoundly genuine, gripping story that any reader can appreciate." —Vice
“Accessible and intimate; her stories relatable for anyone who has ever felt 'less than,' who has attempted (unsuccessfully) to fill the loneliness of life. . . a heartbreaking and insightful read, a candid reminder that recovery is rarely a straightforward journey. . . But it's hopeful, too—Garza is unflinchingly honest and introspective about her obsessions and how she found a path out of them. This is a necessary book that adds an important voice to a much-needed conversation.” —Shondaland.com
“Erica Garza’s Getting Off: One Woman’s Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction is like Belle de Jour if Séverine was a real woman writing in the 21st century and exploring her desires before she even had the chance to become a bored housewife. . . That Garza’s memoir ends with satisfying sex, sensuality, and self-acceptance is triumphant, but not because her prior sex life seems so licentious; there’s plenty she doesn’t do. Rather, the compelling part of Garza’s story is that recovery entails the acceptance of her libido and refusal of shame. In a world that still fears female sexuality and buys into the dichotomy of the Madonna-whore complex, Getting Off is doing crucial work. . . Garza is admirably bold, laying everything bare via her chosen genre. . . If we care about the sexual health of our young people, we might encourage them to read Getting Off." —Los Angeles Review of Books