A Memoir: When we’re faced with adversity.
March 11, 2015
A Memoir portrays the author’s life experiences where the author shows personal knowledge through those experiences.
A Memoir isn’t a recount of the author’s entire life but it has to have a particular theme hence the events are selected and exposed, discussed in depth as they are relative to the purpose of that particular story. An author is an observer and interpreter of the chosen events, questioning and answering what has happened, hence he/she comes to a different understanding of such events. There is a lesson in such events, the lesson that has profoundly affected or changed his/her life or the way he/she sees the world. While the author’s world has been changed, the reader is affected in a similar fashion and his/her mind is altered too.
What prompted me to write my Memoir?
Prior to 2010 I had written five novels. I write in two languages and publish in two different countries. The topics of my novels vary: I have written historical novels, psychological dramas and family sagas. Occasionally, I write short stories and poems to ‘have a little bit of fun’ and to escape into something, if not ‘lighter’, then at least – shorter.
In the year 2003 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and surely, that was the most shocking diagnosis and the hardest time of my life.
I travelled to Andalucia and all I did there was ‘deep thinking’. I had a shocking diagnosis, a restless soul, a dishonest, greedy publisher in Croatia and a restless husband at that time! What fertile soil for an illness.
While I was doing ‘deep thinking’ back there in Andalucia I was actually reflecting on certain events of my life and writing a memoir in my head.
Upon my diagnosis of breast cancer suddenly a lot of events had changed and all those ‘Andalucian questions’ started to haunt me.
What? What? What? What? And – Why?
That was the working fabric of my memoir. As I was writing it the characters from my life appeared on the stage and asked me to integrate them into the tale. The characters from the shores of the Adriatic Sea, the characters from the Italian Alps, the characters from the Isle of Man, London and Dublin…Sydney… and my life story started to take shape and be woven tnto that fabric.
Many things were broken and all those little broken parts were my little pieces of the puzzle of my own life: of a big rebus of human existence and its meaning. I felt that my duty at that time was to find the questions to which answers did not exist.
My own ‘writing therapy’ or was there more to it?
Even though I thought that I should write my memoirs only to serve the purpose of my own healing, or shall I say ‘writing therapy’, I knew that the writing itself would alter my feelings and perceptions and eventually serve other people to deal with various issues when faced with adversity.
As a rule the readers tell me that, somehow, The Mosaic of the Broken Soul, has had a healing effect on them. I think that this is really fantastic, because, I have changed my life a lot since I have been ill, and changed it for a better, more meaningful kind of life, more loving and freer one. Now, thirteen years have passed since I was diagnosed and I am as healthy as one can be, and I see that the readers who read the book give the same feedback. They tell me that the book was a great inspiration and guide to them and that, in some way, a positive way, the book has changed their lives. What fantastic feedback, what fantastic motivation for me!
What I want the reader to take away and treasure from this book is the courage when one is faced with adversity. Understanding that life presents us with lots of challenges but we are always in position to choose. We always make choices whether we are aware of it or not, but the choices are ours. This is liberating because one doesn’t feel as a victim of circumstances or ‘fate’.
Then: honesty towards oneself. It is inevitable to ask questions at certain points in your life, so ask them, don’t run away because unanswered questions come back, sometimes with more difficulty to find an answer.
Reviewed by the Little Professor Book Centre
My Memoirs were reviewed by the Little Professor Book Centre, an independent academic body that evaluates biographies, autobiographies and memoirs: “Written by authorities in Memoirs, The Mosaic of the Broken Soul by Branka Cubrilo provides an excellent foundation for Memoirs studies. Branka Cubrilo’s style is excellently suited towards Memoirs studies, and will teach students the material clearly without overcomplicating the subject. What’s more, the text is available in the Paperback format shown above (ISBN 9781612320588), as well as a number of other formats. As of May 2010, this revision raises the bar for The Mosaic of the Broken Soul’s high standard of excellence, making sure that it stays one of the foremost Memoirs studies textbooks.”