At Last, a Solution to the Problem of Memoirs

Thinking more about the whole truth-in-memoir conundrum, I’ve come up with the following idea: if a book is called a memoir, let’s assume that, like memory, it’s not to be trusted. Enjoyed, possibly, but not viewed as documentary evidence.

If an author is writing in the first-person and they do want us to trust the veracity of their facts, they’ll have to use footnotes that prove their claims can be verified by another party. (Or, if they don’t want their prose to look like that of David Foster Wallace, endnotes.)

Easy peasy.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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