Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Poor Memoirists

I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly, and even though I'm a rabid reader, the Books section is my least favorite. I just don't understand how they can positively review a movie like Jackass and yet be totally disdainful of most popular fiction.

But that's not what this post is about.

No, it's about memoirists. I read a review of a memoir today that indicated the author was to be elevated to the status of a list of other famous memoirists, which the reviewer obviously considers to be exalted. And I just don't get it.

Memoirists don't have to work that hard. Okay, sure, the stuff they write about was extremely difficult to live through, I'm sure, and they have to have talent to write about it in the way they do. But the story is all there. They just have to chronicle it. And anyone can talk about themselves.

But I'm not trying to belittle memoirists. Like I said, most of them had difficult lives if their books are held in high regard, and their prose itself can be beautiful. What makes me sad for them is that once they've written the book--or maybe two or even three, but three is really the limit--there's nowhere to go. Especially if they're in their 20s or 30s, which so many seem to be. There's no more story, once they've caught us up to now. So what's next?

It's probably unfair of me to comment. My life has been nothing worth writing about, so there goes my chance for exalted acclaim. It's just, I want my books to be successful so I can be MORE successful with the next book, and that can only go so far for a memoirist.

Poor things.

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