The latest book news was Oprah being duped by another memoir. I just wish people would write fiction and then there is much less to worry about. Apparently the love story between Herman Rosenblat and his wife Roma has been embellished. They are still Holocaust survivors and very much in love, but the sweet but non-existent story of her throwing apples to him while he was in the concentration camp, just didn’t happen.
I really don’t know what to think about all this memoir fact checking. I’m sure most auto-biographies are embellished to some degree. Oklahomans have their own fictionalized autobiography of our folk hero, Woody Guthrie. Does it diminish the book Bound for Glory, or Woody? I know that sometimes we call it autobiographical rather than autobiography but who are we kidding, go to any library in Oklahoma and it’s shelved as biography and considered nonfiction.
While I think authors who write biographies of others should check their facts, and provide accurate accounts of the lives of the people they write about, I don’t think we can expect the same adherence to facts when people relay their own stories. They become storytellers rather than historians, and perhaps the reader should either accept or reject improbabilities and judge for themselves the validity of the story.