How to explain the concept of memoir to someone who never questions the meaning of ‘truth’?
It has been a challenge this week, with memoir pieces being published online, to convince readers (in particular, family and social media acquaintances) that I’m not telling a historical story. I think this is because the concept of nonfiction is something that many outside the field take as fact — for my brother, nonfiction is animal books. For many people in the small town where I grew up, it is celebrity confessional autobiographies. So where does my writing fit?
Having to put these ideas about slanted story into words is forcing me to question my own research — which is of course useful — but it also makes me wonder about my own preconceptions of what I’m doing. And wonder if somehow the point will be missed by readers.