April 7th, 2008

book and glasses

"Imaginatively enhanced nonfiction."

An article in the Boston Globe (and I have no idea how long this link will stay up, but I put it there as a show of good faith that it WAS in that august paper) has me sitting here and scratching my head in incomprehension. In the interests of the possibility that the link may go buh-bye and disapper, I am putting the story itself Collapse )


There are any number of things in there that might be labelled "money quotes"; here's an example that makes my head spin:

"[the author's] response ... is to say that everything he describes is accurate, only that it didn't necessarily happen to the people, in the places, or at the times it occurs in the
book."

So things happened to people in places and at times. These things were real, and accurate. Then the author comes in and puts the entire thing in a literary blender, mixes it all up (in order, apparently, as he maintains in the article, to "protect the identity" of the people, times and places involved), and the resulting dog's breakfast of facts, people, places and times is STILL supposed to be labelled as... accurate? As truthful? As a work of NON-FICTION?

First Frey. Then that woman who grew up as a white middle class princess and wrote a "memoir" of running with a street gang.

Now this.

Why do we fiction writers bother twisting our brains into pretzels to invent stories? It seems that the "memoir writers" are taking over that niche...