Friday, March 07, 2008

More on Dodgy Memoirs

There's more discussion in the papers on those dodgy memoirs.

Andy McSmith in the Independent doesn't have much sympathy for Margaret Jones' publishers :
An unkind reaction might be that the world of publishing has been asking to be taken for a ride by someone like Margaret Seltzer for a very long time. Ever since McCourt won the Pulitzer Prize more than 10 years ago for his childhood memoir Angela's Ashes, the doors of publishing houses have swung open to more and more people with personal stories to tell about bad things that happened to them when they were young. ... This genre is booming as other aspects of publishing are struggling, and now have spawned three sub-genres – memoirs you can rely on, memoirs that are a bit dodgy but still a good read, and memoirs that are a pack of lies.
Wouldn't it be nice to see these on separate shelves in the bookshops, or some sort of coding system so readers know where they stand?

If all this talk about bogus misery memoirs has got you thinking that you might quite like to write one of your own (and hey, I'm sure that in Malaysia you'd stand a pretty good chance of getting away with it!) John Crace in the Guardian offers us an excellent how-to guide to the genre.

Now then, did you know that Heath Ledger kept a diary which is about to be published?

Well .... actually he didn't. The Last Days of Heath Ledger to be published in Esquire magazine is a fictional account of the actors last days in London and New York.

Tim Arango in the New York Times isn't too taken with the idea:
You are losing the veracity of journalism, and you are losing the imaginative license of fiction. You run the risk of ending up with something that is neither true nor interesting.
The same could be said for all those bogus misery memoirs, couldn't it?

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