Maze of Our Lives

In a New York Times article titled ‘The Problem with Memoir’, Neil Genzlinger revisits the genre in his review of 4 new memoirs, including Johanna Adorjan’s An Exclusive Love.

Genzlinger outlines 4 rules of thumb for would-be memoirists: (1) “That you had parents and a childhood does not of itself qualify you to write a memoir.” (2) “No one wants to relive your misery.” (3) “If you’re jumping on a bandwagon, make sure you have better credentials than the people already on it.” (4) “If you still must write a memoir, consider making yourself the least important character in it.”

The article has prompted replies from McNally Jackson and this from Scribner: “For every three mediocre memoirs Genzlinger could pull off the shelves, there are three brilliant, moving, and transcendent works he could have found, too.”

Memoirists of note appearing soon at the Wheeler Centre include Benjamin Law, John Wood, Michael McGirr, Kate Holden and Raimond Gaita.

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