University of Iowa

Carol Spindel

Carol Spindel is the author of two nonfiction books, In the Shadow of the Sacred Grove and Dancing at Halftime: Sports and the Controversy Over American Indian Mascots, as well as radio commentaries, essays, and articles. In 2019 she edited and self-published her mother's memoir: The Beginnings of Black Radio: My Years at WDIA Memphis.

Her awards include a New York Times Notable Book Award, a PRNDI for Best Writing from the Public Radio News Directors, and an award for excellence in honors teaching from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she taught creative nonfiction for many years. Currently she makes pottery while pretending she's in Paris with the cubists and works as an ACLU activist. Her book I Give You Half the Road, about five people who left one rural community in Ivory Coast, West Africa, during a period of political turmoil, is forthcoming from University of Wisconsin Press.

Instructor Events

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019
Instructor(s): 
Carol Spindel

We all lead multiple lives, so no wonder it’s difficult to write a single memoir. And when our own lives are the subject, we have far too many subsidiary characters and subplots and know way too many details about all of them. This makes wrestling our memories into coherent literary form a bit like trying to organize an overstuffed closet, except in literature we don’t have plastic tubs or garage sales.

 

Weeklong July 14 to July 19 2019
Instructor(s): 
Carol Spindel

Annie Dillard famously said, “The writer of any work, and particularly any nonfiction work, must decide two crucial points: what to put in and what to leave out.” If you have a nonfiction or memoir project in progress, you probably agree. But you may be asking: how do I decide? I have all this material, but how do I shape it? Where do I begin and end? Which parts do I put in and which do I leave out?