Tristine Rainer, Wisdom, Wit, and Warmth

Author, Teacher, Lecturer

Find Tristine on the Web

Your Life as Story, Discovering the “New Autobiography” and Writing Memoir as Literature

“Blending literary scholarship with practical coaching on how to craft short or long life narratives, Rainer traces the history of autobiography from Egyptian inscriptions through its recent evolution on the bestseller lists. Aided by examples from such writers as Maya Angelou, Russell Baker, Richard Rodriguez, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mikal Gilmore, and Carolyn See, among others, Rainer demonstrates how to write character portraits, how to remember what you thought you had forgotten, how to unify a story with thematic conflict, how to write scenes with dialogue and employ other fictional devices, how to use humor and perspective, and how to move through time. The author shares her remarkable techniques for finding the essentials of story structure within your life's scattered experiences. She also shows that autobiography need not be a linear, heroic quest, but may be assembled like a quilt, the pattern gradually emerging.
This definitive guide to writing the story only you can tell is offered by the author of The New Diary. Here is an author who practices what she generously teaches--how to write about oneself with courage, perspective and humor.”
–Barnes and Noble review

“It is a bit rare these days that I rate a book as amazing. This one is for me… Rainer’s lifelong interest in diaries and memoirs as well as her screenwriting has helped to create this entirely thorough and literate book… I do not have one ounce of negative criticism for this book…”
–Crystal, Goodreads

“This book is in many ways a landmark publication…
The author's elegant style makes the book so easy to read. There is a flow that carries you right through. This book is enjoyable, practical and full of humor and insight.”
–S. Chandra Chowdhary, Amazon


Selected Works

Nonfiction
“Perceptive and readable from start to finish.”
Publisher’s Weekly
“For those willing to do the work, Rainer is an excellent guide.”
Publisher’s Weekly