EventsPlacing yourself in history: the challenge of writing memoir

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Placing yourself in history: the challenge of writing memoir

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Main Library


Dorothy Lazard, former head librarian of the Oakland History Center, has just published her coming-of-age memoir, "What You Don't Know Will Make a Whole New World" about growing up in the Bay Area. In this presentation she will share some of the challenges of writing memoir, tips on how to frame family stories, and advice on how to place oneself in the city narrative.

Dorothy moved with her family to Oakland in 1970. An avid reader and writer since childhood, she graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor's degree in English/Creative Writing. A volunteer stint at Oakland's Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Inc., inspired her to apply to library school at UC Berkeley where she would work for several years, managing two campus libraries. The desire to write never left her. In 1999 she earned a Master's of Fine Art in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College (Baltimore, Maryland). Besides her long and busy career as a librarian, she has been a published writer for the past 30 years, with works appearing in Essence Magazine; Oakland Noir; The Public Library: a photographic journey; OHA News; and a number of literary anthologies.

For her distinguished career as the head librarian of the Oakland History Center she has been awarded OHA's Partners in Preservation Lifetime Achievement Award (2022) and the Oscar Lewis Award for Achievement in Western History (2023).

This program is presented by the Oakland Heritage Alliance. 

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Meet the Author
Oakland History

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