A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #8

“Not every family has problems with their community, but you can count on almost every family having some vivid dramas. It may take several conversations to loosen their tongues. After all, most relatives aren’t used to being sat down and aksed to spill out their memories. As with writing, so with speaking: the more you talk about the past, the more there is to say, except when someone deliberately seeks to avoid talking about a person or event. He may be ashamed or uncertain about your reason for probing, or he may want to minimize an accomplishment. The best approach is, as Hamlet says, to let ‘indirection find direction out’.”

from the chapter “The Family in History” in The Story in History: Writing Your Way Into The American Experience by Margot Fortunato Galt

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