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Monday, January 4, 2021

The Memoir: Between Fact and Fiction

Bending the truth wasn't always part of the autobiographer's tool kit. In the middle of the last century, when Mary McCarthy published Catholic Girlhood, memoirists weren't even supposed to cobble up dialogue from memory. Her nonfiction standards were those for histories and biographies and journalism--forms then still held to be fairly irrefutable. Whether we were more gullible or more secretive or the standards more rigorous then, I can't say--probably all three.

Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir, 2015

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