Question: How many memoirs does a person need to read before questioning the truth of any memoir? My answer: As many losing lottery tickets as they have in a drawer.Memoirs are a favorite reading. I have a bookshelf of them arranged from Claire Hus Accomando's Love and Rutabaga to Pin Yathay's Stay Alive My Son.
I willingly enter another's life and experiences to expand mine. Overall I believe every written word and empathize with every emotion. In a reading frenzy, somewhere between Expecting Adam by Martha Beck and Malachy McCourt's A Monk Swimming, I thought it might be an interesting addition to allow twenty-five pages at the end of every memoir for the author's fellow life travelers to add perspective.I learned early to believe everything and nothing at the same time.
My parents divorced when I was six and they both felt it their right or duty to tell me their side of the wretched marriage. Age six is when I learned people you love can tell compelling versions of their life but it may or may not be a reflection of anyone else's story in the story. I thought they were both wrong. I still loved them both.
The everything I believe is feeling; the nothing is assumed facts.There is a spectrum from human emotional floodwaters to interpreting facts to knowingly misrepresenting lives. The flap over James Frey's A Million Little Pieces and Nasdijj's The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams still seems a little na´ve and self-righteous. Yes, I think it very wrong both men used their talent to knowingly deceive readers.
Trust and belief are hurt when memoirs are deceiving. We gave Frey and Nasdijj our open reading hearts that felt for them and while reading, for them alone. To feel compassion for another's struggle in life is a lovely, true feeling. An emotion we can be proud to display. Over time I came to a conclusion when my parents seemed to want to split my loyalties by defending themselves. They were telling their stories to themselves as best they could by wording them to me and it became my listening, human duty to love and need them as they were.
Sincerity and human struggle trumped the intrusion of another's version. Humans can only play with their life's deck of cards and most of us don't understand the game. In the end it is my response and understanding of my own game, not another's betrayal that defines me..Article copyright Rebecca Guevara.Her novel, The Trading of Ken, can be seen at http://www.oxidebooks.com or http://www.
barnesandnoble.com She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Rebecca Guevara