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Memoir competition

Christopher North October 2021

Judgement, comments and recommended readings

I was delighted to judge our Summer Memoir competition. So interesting to read some anonymous memoirs from our community here on the Costa Blanca – a community of friends that meet, socialize, endlessly talk of current politics, favourite restaurants, gossip in the Pueblos and Urbanizacions, with ferocious discussions on books, films, paintings, music, sport – all things  that go towards a pleasant, comfortable congenial world for our retirement. 

So what’s interesting? – Well, we arrive here with our rich and detailed pasts with its highs and lows, triumphs, disasters and achievements, but by and large they are not discussed or explored – most of us have done some reinvention, some recasting and representation of ourselves. We don’t broadcast our back-stories – or possibly we deliver them considerably edited. It is somehow the norm – without the familiar geography of the past life around us, we can reinvent ourselves.  I was very glad to do so.


But then along comes this challenge: write a memoir, re-engage with that past in 4000 words. Actually the word limit is quite a challenge. Memoirs are popular media and most published ones are full length. So what might be a rounded story of a particular year, a particular person or place has to be necessarily condensed. 

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