Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Million Little Pieces - and a Few Lies

Writing a memoir means recreating past events and taking down the truth as we see it. And the way we see it or recall it is open to the varities of one's personality, persuasion, prediliction for remembering details, age, and circumstances. My brother and I remember the same events differently. The basic event is the same but our recollection and interpretation of the facts as we perceive it are different. It's not that we've created our own fantasy but we sifted through live's events and tragedies through different lenses. But the basic events are the same.

James Frey took events from his own life and embellished them to the point where they became lies. His books are technically fictionalized memoir which gives them the label of fiction. Should some memoirs now receive a label called "faux fiction" or "half-truth fiction"? How do we know what actually happened? But when facts - not thoughts or feelings - are tampered with the credibility of every non-fiction writer suffers.

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