Writing Your Memoir
with Erica Garza in Los Feliz
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 17, 2018 to December 19, 2018 (with no class on November 7 or 21)
This eight-week mixed levels workshop will introduce writers to the essentials of the memoir, both short- and long-form. We will explore all the fictional techniques that bring memoir to life—dialogue, setting, characterization—as well as those aspects of recollection and reflection that make it such an engaging and moving genre. Assigned readings will demonstrate how effective memoir writers create compelling personal experiences on the page, and rigorous discussion of student work will aim for fully realized autobiographical prose. This class is also open to more experienced memoirists who are in the ongoing process of honing their craft.
This class will take place in Los Feliz, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.
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
“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
"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
“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