keeping the boundaries clear, when reviewing memoir

Friday, June 26, 2015

When we critique a memoir we are not critiquing a life. We must, instead, respect the boundaries. Our job is to appraise the art, the intent, the structure, the reach, but not the overt or implied "moralities" of the person who has just written her idea about her own story.

Sure, there will always be talk about the memoirist as a person; there will always be those conversations, sparked. The job of a reviewer, though, is to explain and ponder what the memoirist has put at stake without imposing one's own politics upon it.


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