Background Information: Thomas King’s memoir/fiction/non-fiction work blends the best of all literatures into one work. This semester, we will start to recognize the signatures of BIPOC literatures, which is the weaving in and out of history, autobiography (often as a plural voice), as well as breaking the linear narrative paradigms. This blurring of genres/structures is one of the gifts, I think, of King’s writing, and one that you will be employing yourself for this first essay.
Essay Requirements Begin the essay with “There is a story I know. . .” Here you will bring in and share (in your own words) a story that you recall from your youth, or from your family, or from religious/spiritual teachings, but one story that in some way informs your life, existence here on this planet. After you retell your story in your own words, you will insert this line: “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” Then you will follow that line with some personal narrative that in some very loose way connects to the opening story. Again, you will have some liberties here, because King takes them throughout his own writing. Finally, you will insert the same type of cautionary refrain that King inserts at the end of each chapter, essentially, making the argument: “Don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.” Think of this as the final argument about how THIS STORY matters not only to you, but to the readers of your paper. Just as King’s writing offers the significance of the stories for him, but also the readers. The essay must adhere to MLA formatting: 12-point font, double spacing, indenting paragraphs, proper in-text citations, and a works cited. If you are paraphrasing an origin story, or children’s book, or individual person who is responsible for gifting you with the story, you must cite them, in-textually and in the works cited. You need an original title that will provide a glimpse or foreshadowing to the story you are about to share. Your writing should be somewhere between 1,000 words to 1,500 words. This work is more informal that the other writings you will do this semester; I want you to have fun.
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