Neil Genzlinger has a few things to say about “the problem with memoirs” in this week’s NYTBR. Like this:
So in a possibly futile effort to restore some standards to this absurdly bloated genre, here are a few guidelines for would-be memoirists, arrived at after reading four new memoirs. Three of the four did not need to be written, a ratio that probably applies to all memoirs published over the last two decades. Sorry to be so harsh, but this flood just has to be stopped.”
If you didn’t feel you were discovering something as you wrote your memoir, don’t publish it. Instead hit the delete key, and then go congratulate yourself for having lived a perfectly good, undistinguished life. There’s no shame in that.”
And other things, too.