Santa Monica 'Writings From Emeritus' A Compelling Collection Of Short Memoirs

Sunday, 27 Jan 2013, 9:00:00 AM

Mitch James

The Fall 2012 issue of “Writings from Emeritus” is a collection of compelling short memoirs from Santa Monica College’s Emeritus College for older adults.

From the leadoff story of a 90-year-old student whose “inner me still dances” to the humorous story of a young Jewish soldier’s meeting with the Pope in post World War II Italy, this newly released issue is the seventh volume of an annual publication from an autobiography writing class at Santa Monica College’s Emeritus College for older adults.

Aside from the “inner dancer” and Pope encounter stories, pieces in the latest journal include a Holocaust survivor’s encounter with the son of a Nazi.

“These stories bring readers into the ‘real stuff of memoir writing: the hard moments, the joy, the pain, the unrequited love, the exultant surprises, and what it all meant,” said Monona Wali, the instructor of the Emeritus College memoir writing class.

“The writers of these 29 short stories bring us into the depth of breadth of the human journey,” she said. “Some are experienced writers, and for others, this is their first published story. Together, they provide powerful evidence of why the memoir is such a popular and powerful art form.”

Wali is a short story writer and novelist and, in a previous incarnation, a documentary filmmaker and screenwriter. Several of her stories have been published in The Santa Monica Review, SMC’s renowned literary journal. A recent story, "There Is A Certain Kind of Woman," won the Wordstock 2011 Short Fiction Contest judged by Aimee Bender. She also volunteer teaches with InsideOut Writers, an organization that offers creative writing classes for incarcerated youth.

The journal is available for $7 (checks only) through the Emeritus College at 1227 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. For information, contact Wali at mononawali@mac.com.

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