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The possible steps between biography and fiction seem to increase from year to year. Ian Jack, writing in the Guardian in 2003, commented, “Writing one’s own personal history used to be called autobiography. Now, more and more, it is called memoir.” Since then, the variety of memoirs has proliferated: we have the traditional memoir, the constructed one, the fictionalised and finally the fictional. This last categorization may still be greeted by a furore as some degree of “truth” is still demanded of the genre.
Biographies may trace accurately the life of someone, usually a person, well-known for their achievements or notorious for the life they’ve led. Though stuffed with facts and footnotes and even using the actual words of their subject culled from letters, diaries and interviews, the biographer usually remains somewhat detached presenting an overview of the…
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