We like the word ‘salon’ as a reference to a gathering of like-minded people to engage in the art of life writing & reading. The project started with a series of public events in which audiences had the opportunity to listen to and share ideas with acclaimed authors around the discussion of storytelling and the self.
The Memoir Salon is now redesigned into an online platform for sharing of knowledge about the craft of storytelling in all its infinite possibilities.
Josiane Behmoiras is based in regional Victoria. Her essays and short fiction have been published in various literary publications and her memoir, Dora B: A Memoir of My Mother was published in Australia, the UK, Germany and France, and shortlisted for the NSW Premier Awards. Josiane has been teaching creative writing at various community settings and at The University of Melbourne, where she was awarded a creative writing PhD.
Visit Josiane’s website to learn more
Josiane Behmoiras is one of those generous writers who always seem willing to share their knowledge and understandings about the processes gleaned from the long hard hours of struggling with their art. I have attended several memoir workshop sessions devised and facilitated by Josiane. She teaches through readings that are often novel and designs writing exercises that stretch one’s usual patterns of working. The workshop teachings are stimulating and transferable to the various projects that participants bring to the room, offering ways of looking at one’s work through a different lens. Josiane’s own highly regarded memoir Dora B is a beautifully written book that reveals an unusual approach to writing memoir, while fitting to the story being told.
Christine McKenzie is an author, editor, teacher, Pen Melbourne committee president and former director of Writers Victoria
I have known Josiane for 13 years now and I can confidently say she is a an excellent, insightful and generous teacher of writing who is genuinely interested in the stories of others. Her acclaimed book, Dora B: A Memoir of My Mother, is a wise and poetic exploration of her life story. In my view, Dora B is memoir at its best, and I often draw on it in my own teaching. Josiane’s new, and original, project, The Memoir Salon, seems to me to be an organic continuation of her passion for writing and I think it offers a great opportunity for writers to hone their skills and get support in this enormous undertaking of making art from life.
Lee Kofman, author, mentor and teacher of creative writing is the author of the acclaimed memoir The Dangerous Bride (Melbourne University Press, 2014). Her essays, short stories and poetry appeared in major publications in Australia and overseas
Visit Lee Kofman’s website
Dora B is a radiant, unforgettable memoir. In exquisite, spare prose Behmoiras details the life of a mother and daughter, expelled from their French homeland into a precarious existence in Israel. Young Josiane is a compelling narrator and her intense noticing fills this memoir with striking detail. We see a child reined in by circumstance, yet freed by her imagination. We see Dora as a mother and a woman, in all her vulnerability, paranoia and tenderness. As we follow the pair across two countries, we come to understand how their precarious life has been shaped by Dora’s time in France during the German occupation.
Dora B brilliantly evokes the complexities of maternal love, the impact of historical forces on a fractured family, and the illuminating force of a child’s imagination. Behmoiras is that rare talent, a born writer. I cannot wait to read her next work.
Mireille Juchau is an author of novels, short fiction, essays, scripts and reviews. Her latest novel, The World Without Us was the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2016 and shortlisted for NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2016, The Stella Prize 2016, The Australian Book Industry Awards 2016, The Voss Literary Prize 2016 and Longlisted The Miles Franklin Literary Award 2016.