The Right to be Forgotten

The line between fiction and non-fiction is blurrier than ever. Memoir, which at first seems so clearly non-fiction, has been creeping closer and closer to fiction, especially with the recent memoir boom. Even biographies and autobiographies have become (or have always been but perhaps less obviously) works of fiction. Non-fiction writing is always subjective and […]

A Memoir for Millennials

Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? introduced me to the millennial memoir. Although I have never read exactly this type of book before, it was remarkably familiar. Sheila the character seeks self-actualization but is met with adversity in the form of persistent self-doubt, a divorce, bestie friendship crises, bad sex, job problems, and general feelings of […]

Ugly Sex & Flat Affect

Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? and Marie Calloway’s what purpose did i serve in your life (which, it’s interesting to note, is missing the question mark present in Heti’s title) offer scene upon scene of what I can’t help but call “ugly sex.”From Heti’s narrator Sheila telling us how, “I did vomit a little the other day, […]

Malala, Memoir, and Market

I am Malala looks at the memoirs of Malala Yousafzai, a teen female education activist forced to flee her home in Pakistan after an assassination attempt by the Taliban. The memoir works to construct the narrative from Yousafzai’s present, as a student and refugee living with her family in Birmingham, UK. As the memoir genre […]

Neither Safe Nor Good

The first time I saw a copy of Marie Calloway’s What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life was a year ago, at Value Village. I picked it up because of the intelligent-looking graphic design and the author’s beautiful and serious face on the cover. But the contents were too much at the time, too […]