My hands, remembering
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Lauren Fath's nonfiction writing uses handicraft as an entrée to examining familial history and the inheritance of objects. Each essay in her collection centers on the pursuit of a particular craft, such as knitting, sewing, or refurbishing antiques. Fath situates that pursuit alongside her search for family secrets and recondite inherited pasts. Ultimately, handicraft emerges as a means of preserving traditions, expressing nascent love, and recovering from a broken marriage. My Hands, Remembering demonstrates that writing about handicraft should attend to not just the emotional benefits of craft, but to craft methodologies themselves, and how craft techniques can be both passed down and created anew. Fath suggests in her critical introduction that ethnographers who write about handicraft should embrace what she calls “ethnography of methodology,” in which a crafter’s technical approaches and aesthetic choices receive as much attention as the product (the object itself) or the outcome (a sense of community with other crafters). This essay collection contributes to a growing influence of ethnography and autoethnography upon creative nonfiction, and more particularly to the use of the material as a means of exploring the personal. Fath's work also represents a contemporary era of handicraft and traces how interests such as knitting and sewing are both passed down to and reinvented by a new generation of crafters.