Stories Are What Save Us
A Survivor's Guide to Writing about Trauma
A seasoned writer and teacher of memoir explores both the difficulties inherent in writing about personal trauma and the techniques for doing so in a compelling way.
Since 2013, David Chrisinger has taught military veterans, their families, and other trauma survivors how to make sense of and recount their stories of loss and transformation. The lessons he imparts can be used by anyone who has ever experienced trauma, particularly people with a deep need to share that experience in a way that leads to connection and understanding.
In Stories Are What Save Us, Chrisinger shows--through writing exercises, memoir excerpts, and lessons he's learned from his students--the most efficient ways to uncover and effectively communicate what you've learned while fighting your life's battles, whatever they may be. Chrisinger explores both the difficulties inherent in writing about personal trauma and the techniques for doing so in a compelling way. Weaving together his journey as a writer, editor, and teacher, he reveals his own deeply personal story of family trauma and abuse and explains how his life has informed his writing.
Part craft guide, part memoir, and part teacher's handbook, Stories Are What Save Us presents readers with a wide range of craft tools and storytelling structures that Chrisinger and his students have used to process conflict in their own lives, creating beautiful stories of growth and transformation. Throughout, this profoundly moving, laser-focused book exemplifies the very lessons it strives to teach. A foreword by former soldier and memoirist Brian Turner, author of My Life as a Foreign Country, and an afterword by military wife and memoirist Angela Ricketts, author of No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife, bookend the volume.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 9781421440804, 240pp.
Publication Date: July 6, 2021