Magical Memoir Moments

Memoir: Is it Inevitably About Our Parents?

Noble laureate Doris Lessing wrote her last book, Alfred and Emily, reviewed in The New York Times here, at age 88. She’s now 91 years old. Apparently she’s been working out the meaning of her parents’ tragic lives all her life. Her father lost a leg in the trenches during World War I. Her mother…

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Memoir as Window to the Unfathomable Self: Stanley Fish on Charles Van Doren

Stanley Fish several years ago wrote his column in the New York Times about an essay by Charles Van Doren in the July 28, 2008, issue of The New Yorker.  If you saw Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford, you know that Charles Van Doren disgraced himself, his family, and perhaps even academic life, by participating in a rigged quiz show…

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