Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (syllabus)

Link up with your own list here: The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic: Top Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught Contemporary Biography/Memoir 101
You don't know this, but I used to teach summer English classes to high school students in the Upward Bound program. The best part about teaching (I was not a very good teacher) was setting my own syllabus, right down to the focus of the summer's study. My first year, I taught research writing. My second summer, I taught poetry. 
I think the trick to a good syllabus about biography and memoir writing is to choose works that discuss an array of different lives all using top-notch writing to tell the story. 
This is what would be on my syllabus: 

the extraordinary American: Unbroken

celebrity memoir: Open by Andre Agassi
biography of a famous animal: Seabiscuit

childhood written in verse: Brown Girl Dreaming

Powerful people
U.S. president: Destiny of the Republic
British monarch: Elizabeth the Queen 

minority lives: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
My Beloved World

ladies: Eat, Pray, Love
gentlemen: Visiting Tom
What would be on your biography/memoir syllabus?




  1. What a great list & a really interesting topic. I would sign up for that class :) My TTT

    1. Great! Come on in, and sit anywhere you'd like!