From The Harbrace Guide to Writing: “Memoirs are a kind of writing used to narrate and analyze significant experiences in our lives….Food-related memoirs…present past experiences with food that resonate with a larger historical, psychological or social meaning.”(Glenn 91).
Writing Situation:Your audience is this class—your fellow students and instructor (me).The genre is memoir. Your available means is an essay.Think carefully about the rhetorical opportunity or exigence– in many cases the rhetorical opportunity for memoir is to provoke readers to think about their own lives in specific ways.
Write a narrative essay which reflects* on an experience with food to explore the significance of special event and/or relationship(s) in your life. The most successful essays are likely to be very specific.Notice Tan is discussing the making of one kind of cookie, not all of the foods eaten for Chinese New Year.
*A reflective essay by nature means you have had time to consider how the experience is significant in your life. Therefore, it’s unlikely that writing about a recent experience would result in a successful essay.
Your purpose should be implied, not directly stated.We should “get” what you mean not through your telling us, but because you have brought your experience and thinking so vividly to life.