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Some killer opening lines from memoirs

Here are some strong openers for memoirs that kick the reader straight into the story. Do you have a favourite one? Share it in the comments below.



Here are some strong openers for memoirs that kick the reader straight into the story. Do you have a favourite one? Share it in the comments below


Mother spooned the poisoned corn and beans into her mouth, ravenously, eyes closed, hands shaking.Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter,”by Barbara Robinette Moss


“The first time Daddy found out about me, it was from behind glass during a routine visit to prison, when Ma lifted her shirt, teary-eyed, exposing her belly for emphasis.Breaking Night” by Liz Murray


“The blood is still rolling off my flak jacket from the hole in my shoulder and there are bullets cracking into the sand all around me.Born on the Fourth of July, Ron Kovic


“My sharpest memory is of a single instant surrounded by dark.The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr


“At the age of three my grand aunt proclaimed her independence by categorically refusing to having her feet bound, resolutely tearing off the bandages as fast as they were applied.Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Child by Adeline Yen Mah


My mother’s hand was open like a bisque cup, all porcelain, and Christ Jesus’ fingers were tentacles entangled around her palm.Daughter of the Queen of Sheba” by Jacki Lyden


The phone shouldn’t ring this early. Her Last Death” by Susanna Sonnenberg


I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through the dumpster.The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls


Our mother died three times.  (Introduction)The Kids Are All Right by Diana, Liz, Amanda, and Dan Welch


“Early childhood memories don’t always remain in the right order or come back the moment they’re called, preferring to remain stubbornly locked in secret compartments deep in the filing cabinets of my mind.The Little Prisoner” by Jane Elliott, Andrew Crofts


Family should be the source of your strength, courage, and pride…not the thing that holds you down.Climbing the Broken Stairs” by Frieda Annette Adkins


My childhood came to a virtual halt when I was around five years old.Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish


“Having just died, I shouldn’t be starting my afterlife with a chicken sandwich, no matter what, especially one served up by nuns.”Learning to Die in Miami, Carlos Eire


“Any way I tell this story is a lie, so I ask you to disconnect the device in your head that repeats at intervals how ancient and addled I am.”Lit, by Mary Karr (preface is an open letter to her son)


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