A thought on Truth and Memoir

My colleague in the Association of Personal Historians Philip Sherwood posted to our listserv recently with a note that caught my fancy. With Phil’s permission I pass it along to you.

Hi all,

Just finished reading Ghosting: A Double Life by Jennie Erdal — her memoir of twenty years or so ghostwriting for an influential publisher in the UK. A good read. In closing, she muses on her own efforts at telling her story, and life stories in general.

“Everyone tells stories. And all story-tellers are liars–not to be trusted. They have an excessive need to make sense of experience, and so things get twisted and shaped to suit. It need not be deliberate, but it’s as well to admit that it happens. We fumble about in the fog, and patterns come to us eerily like distant foghorns over water. We put forward versions of ourselves. And versions of others.”

That rings true, doesn’t it! I would say that the need to make sense of experience is the common thread that binds together those of us who write about our lives.

Off to add Ghosting to my library queue…

-Sarah White

About eastsidehistorymadison

East Side History Club Organizer
This entry was posted in Book review, Guest writer. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A thought on Truth and Memoir

  1. Sarah white says:

    Reading “Ghosting” now and really enjoying it. She mixes musings about her work for the publisher, her personal history, and the writing craft.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s