All Posts by

Sarah Jane Herbener

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First Edition Memoirs

A letter from 1943

I love working with primary sources, holding history in my hands. Here’s a letter written to a client’s father by the father’s younger brother when both had left Kentucky, barely out of high school, to serve in World War II. Tragically, the brother, Paul, was killed in action only weeks after writing this letter, when …

First Edition Memoirs

A Life in Paper Trees

Interviews don’t follow a linear narrative. So this is how I start turning interview transcripts into a finished book: by printing them, cutting the printouts into hundreds of little statements and stories, then taping them into vertical strips, organized depending on the storyteller’s history and also just by how it feels right to me. I …