The Ticking is the Bomb by Nick Flynn
The Boy Who Loved Tornados: A Mother’s Story by Randi Davenport
You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story by A. Gurwitch and J. Kahn
The Shaking Woman: Or, A History of My Nerves by Siri Hustvedt
Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline
In a Philadelphia Inquirer article entitled Celebrating the Memoir, Dianna Marder construes that “The emphasis on memoir is so strong that autobiography, history and fiction may be endangered. And the reasons for memoir’s popularity may rest in our very nature as Americans: In a land where the majority rules, individuality is exalted and memoir is more befitting the American ideal of resourcefulness.”
Indeed, memoirs are much more fascinating than nonfiction history books since a personal perspective is involved. Who doesn’t love a good story of how it really was versus a bunch of dry facts. Autobiographies tend to suffer the same fate of dry regurgitation, while fiction…well, Ben Yagoda, author of Memoir: A History says “When it comes to proving points and making cases, fiction’s day is done.” Mary Karr, whose publisher claims she “kick-started the memoir revolution” with The Liar’s Club (1995), has this to say: “The failures of other genres to provide an emotional connection with some of their characters and narratives gives memoir a toehold.” Comparing bad memoirs to bad novels, “But the most whiny memoir is written by someone passionately attached to his or her subject matter. And the connectedness of that single voice is something readers long for now.” Karr, also wrote the memoirs Cherry and the recently published Lit.
Everyone has a story to tell. Not all are meant to be published, but all are meant to be told.