Castro to examine the pitfalls of writing about family during discussion at University Bookstore

Joy Castro


Joy Castro knows whenever a memoirist gives a reading, someone in the audience is sure to ask, "How did your family react?" Revisiting pasts and exploring experiences, authors often reveal more of their nearest and dearest than might be preferred.

Castro, University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor of English and ethnic studies, will examine how these pitfalls and others can arise while sharing stories from our pasts during a discussion of her new book, Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family, at the University Bookstore inside Nebraska Union. The discussion will take place Oct. 29 at 7 p.m., followed by a book signing.

For her new book, Family Trouble, Castro has edited a collection of essays from 25 well-known memoirists. These essays explore the fraught territory of family history told from one perspective, which, from another angle in the family drama, might appear quite different. Castro, a memoirist herself, explores the ethical dilemmas of writing about family and offers strategies for this tricky, but necessary, subject. Family Trouble serves as a practical guide for writers to find their own version of the truth while respecting family boundaries.

Castro teaches creative writing, literature and Latino studies at UNL, and also serves as the associate director of the Institute for Ethnic Studies. She is the author of The Truth Book: A Memoir as well as the essay collection Island of Bones both published by the University of Nebraska Press. Her literary thriller, Hell or High Water was a National Latino Book club selection. Nearer Home, the sequel to Hell or High Water was published this summer. Castro's books will be available for purchase at the discussion.