An interview with Edvige Giunta

Mar 31, 2017 936

BY: Suzanne Branciforte

Suzanne Branciforte: Edvige, you’re a teacher of memoir writing. What are your roots, origins and story?

Edvige Giunta: I am Italian, and American, Sicilian, Sicilian-American, European. I have multiple identities. Memoir became an opportunity to bring together threads of identity and cultural experience. It’s an antidote to cultural displacement. Most people experience some form of displacement. It doesn’t have to be geographical; it can be class, cultural, gender identity, disability… Your sense of home is somehow thwarted.

SB: Can you tell me about your experience as a teacher of memoir?

EG: An extraordinary experience… I stumbled on it; my training was as a literary critic. I wrote my dissertation on James Joyce (not that James Joyce is not a great memoir teacher in some ways). During my first year at New Jersey City University I had an opportunity to teach a creative writing class. I had read Louise DeSalvo’s memoir, Vertigo. It was life-changing. Louise suggested I teach memoir. Over the past 20 years, I’ve taught memoir workshops in New Jersey, in Italy, in all sorts of settings. With people aged 14 to 90.

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