Since I have a memoir short published this summer in Bahamut Journal I figured it’d be good to share this link I came across about the thorny issue of facts in non-fiction:
I agree with the general premise. I don’t much care for or about the fact police. It’s a memoir, and that means it’s how the writer chooses to remember. Or, perhaps how the writer chooses to write it, deliberately leaving out or altering some parts.
Mine, for example, is called Knock Knock Jokes. The short is basically the modified first chapter of a book that is 50,000 words long. I changed all the names. All of them. I also changed some of the “facts” because they are so unique as to identify those involved. As it is, some people will probably be tainted just by association.
The etymology of the word ‘memoir’ is old French memorie from old Latin memoria, meaning ‘memory’.
Each of us knows how unreliable memory is. No two people remember the same event the same way.
Thus, when you read a memoir, sit back, relax, and tell yourself this is a point of view, not a chapter in a history book.
Besides, we all need a little subjectivity in our lives sometimes.