Defining Memoir–With Tongue Firmly in Cheek

Thanks to Richard Gilbert, whose wonderful blog Narrative I highly recommend, I can include a link  guaranteed to induce a chuckle.

One of the goals of this blog focuses on the quest to understand memoir as a genre. What differentiates it from other forms? Why is it both popular and maligned in the contemporary literary world? I named this category “books about memoir,” and you can find the posts stored in this category by using the handy category list in the right-hand column. Or you can follow this link to find previous posts which reviewed those books, sometimes commenting on how they define the genre. 

I have cited a few other writers on this subject, but none of the definitions in these posts were as fun as these from Chris Offutt as taken from Harper’s. Open the link and enjoy a laugh.

Do these definitions work as well as the serious ones for you? What do they reveal that the others lack? Or vice versa?


About Shirley Hershey Showalter

Author of memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. Blogging about Magical Memoir Moments and Jubilación -- vocation in the second half of life.
This entry was posted in Books About Memoir, Lists, Memoir in the News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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