Just after posting “Telling the ‘Truth’ in Memoirs,” I ran across a BBC World Service piece titled “How to Write Memoirs.” which consisted of snippets of interviews with British novelists Martin Amis and Lisa Appignanesi who had both authored family memoirs.
The interviews offered some further insights on “truth” in memoir. One of the most important is that memoirists must choose what to include and what to leave out.
Another British novelist, Lewis Powell, observed, “Memoirs can never be wholly true, since they cannot include every conceivable circumstance of what happened.”
Commenting on “Writing About Your Relatives and Friends,” Appignanesi said, “I think the first thing to do is select out… the moments that have particular resonance for you…They may take you to interesting places and not necessarily the places you thought you might visit.”
Biff Barnes, Editor