A memoir aspires to be a recreation of events not a transcript, but that doesnt mean it cant get very close to the truth indeed. My biggest surprise on book tour: Meeting up with old friends and classmates who remember things just the way I do.
And so this most self-aware, self-reflexive of forms keeps on commenting on itself, attaching new codas and footnotes to each chapter, and subtly re-writing the words youve labored so hard to make definitive.
Epilogue is in part about discovering, back in 2004, family members I never knew existed. In the course of writing the book, I thought Id uncovered all the secrets my family contained.
(This is the nature of traumait can never stay in the past.) But, okay, yes, there are some moments I remember fuzzily, for which I had to consult family members, friends, and old letters. Writing about your own life or family, everything suddenly seems relevant, from the most dramatic events to the smallest ephemera. I know Im not the only writer to have drafted hundreds more pages than I needed, writing out whole episodesmany of them revealing, earth-shaking, of the utmost vital importance, at I would eventually just cut, realizing that they didnt add. A new epilogue to. Epilogue? The story, no matter what I do, keeps on changing. I think it took me a year, at least, before I stopped suffocating under all the stuff that goes into memoir and started to find, among the debris, the struts and beams that would form the structure of a story.