Tuesday, July 18, 2006


When a writer produces a story that's actually a thinly-veiled and somewhat embellished retelling of their own life's story, their agent will often suggest they rewrite it as a memoir. Your story is so compelling, so real! People will see themselves in your struggles, you'll inspire them! The result is a memoir. Purportedly non-fiction, unless you're James Frey.

Other times, the writer goes ahead with the fiction-that-is-really-fact story and no one is the wiser. To my mind, this is the better option.

Why? Because people who are not skilled writers can poop out a memoir in no time and ride whatever curiousity train stopped at their weirdo depot. Honestly, just because someone is in the news or on TV doesn't mean they are actually interesting, and it for sure doesn't warrant an instant memoir from that person.

Memoirs are for marginal celebrities and crackpots. An important person, whose views or actions or life's work have changed the world, writes an autobiography or has a biography written about them by a writer.

A 20-year old writing a memoir is absurd and repellent. Talk about the height of narcissism! I'd no sooner read that book than read the grocery story book based on the OC.

People aren't reading books as much as they used to. Publishing houses react by putting out books that'll move at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. As much as I love literature and books and reading, this trend sickens me more than seeing Ann Coulter and Paris Hilton grind against each other in a karaoke version of "I Touch Myself" would. It's that bad.

Forget blogger books and celebrity memoirs. Go check out the Biography section, or reread some Classics or your favorite fiction at your bookstore or library, instead.

[Disclaimer: Yes, I am a published writer. No, I don't have/don't want a blogger book deal. Yes I am writing a book, but I'm taking time to write it, rather than to fabricate it or to market it.]


Blogger LisaBinDaCity said...

I agree. Who wants to read a memoir from some 20 year old brat? Who the heck CARES? I don't unless they were raised by wolves in the hills somewhere...

11:14 AM  
Blogger Star, The one and only said...

What is with you people and ann coulter? once again I find myself agreeing with your troublesome wisdom. If I ever become famous I will hire you to write my anti-memoirs, a completley fictional account of how I WISH my life would have gone.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Absinthe said...

What a vivid mental image (of Hilton and Coulter, I mean). If it's still in my head by the time I leave work today, I'm thinking it will take 2 showers, a bottle of Grey Goose, and possibly a high colonic to purge. It's ok, though - I probably have other things i need to purge as well.

Thanks for the comment re the lounge music, by the way - I'll take your recommendations.

8:14 AM  

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