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  • Writer's pictureAl Desetta

It’s Never Too Late to Write a Memoir

Updated: Mar 20

Such was the case with Marina DiMaggio, who contacted me at age 86.


A few months before, she had walked into her living room in northern California where her family was watching a World War II documentary.  In grainy black and white images, Marina saw a flight of B-29 bombers over Japan in 1945.  As she listened to the sounds of the bombers and watched the bombs fall, she was immediately thrown back into memories she had suppressed for more than 70 years.  She and her parents had watched their city of Kobe entirely ablaze from a mountaintop high above. 


Marina couldn’t stop shaking and was consoled by her family, who knew nothing about the firebombing of Japan nor her family’s deportation to equally ravaged Hamburg, Germany after the war (Marina’s father was a German national), sent from one charred and haunted landscape to another.


Marina’s daughter told her, “Mom, you should write your life story for us, so we can know your history.”


Marina contacted me and the result is her recently-published memoir Mariko/Marie/Marina: My Life through Three Cultures.  In it she describes how she rose from these difficult circumstances to become a prominent dancer throughout Europe in the 1950s and an acclaimed restauranteur in California, creating a loving family along the way.


Contact me to write the memoir you’ve always wanted to write, so you can preserve your precious memories and leave behind a powerful legacy.


As Marina says, “Now my children and grandchildren will know the full story of my life."


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