Sunday, January 31, 2016


What is it that induces so many authors to write confessional books? In the abridged version of an essay published by the Guardian, Blake Morrison suggests that there are seven prime reasons given, including to indulge a cathartic impulse, to set the record straight and to shock. It's probably all underpinned by varying degrees of egotism, but Morrison - himself the author of a memoir of his father - isn't as dismissive of the genre as some critics; on the contrary, he ventures that "if literature is the enemy of discretion and conformity, if its value lies in breaking the rules by means of truth-telling, then confessional memoirs may be the truest literature of all".

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