Writing a memoir is all about taking the mess of life and shaping into a coherent, moving narrative. This is what author Lech Blaine did for his memoir, Car Crash. Then, when writing Top Blokes, a Quarterly Essay on Australian politics, he found himself weaving memoir into his writing once again.
What’s the cost of so much vulnerability, especially when writing about trauma, grief, personal mental health?
Lech Blaine is the author of the memoir Car Crash and Quarterly Essay ‘Top Blokes’. His writing has appeared in the Monthly, Guardian Australia, Best Australian Essays, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and Meanjin. He was an inaugural recipient of a Griffith Review Queensland Writing Fellowship.
In episode 52, Lech speaks about the challenge of writing and releasing these two publications back to back during the pandemic, and the burnout that followed. He also discusses the epiphanies that writing memoir can bring despite unresolved feelings about events that are carefully distilled on the page, and the emotional toll of sharing so much vulnerability with readers.
Books and authors discussed in this episode
– Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
– Timeline by Michael Crichton
– Sphere by Michael Crichton
– Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
– State of Fear by Michael Crichton
– Lee Child
– John Grisham
– Know My Name: A Memoir by Channel Miller
– Specky Magee by Felice Arena and Garry Lyon
– Harry Potter by JK Rowling
– Glory Gardens by Bob Cattell
If you’re interested in writing memoir or joining for any of my upcoming writing workshops, check out my events page.