Leslie Jamison offers up her usual incisive brilliance in a NY Times book review discussion titled “Should There Be a Minimum Age for Writing a Memoir?” Here’s a bit, followed by the link:
I probably shouldn’t venture any further into my defense of young memoir before acknowledging that I’m a young writer who has written about my life. I’ve got skin in the game. And my skin flinches, in particular, at the second part of Yardley’s argument: the notion that even those who have had experiences worth narrating will be “too young to know what to make of them,” which feels like a willfully reductive evasion of a more complicated truth.
I do see where the critique comes from. In its sophisticated form, it’s a call for drafting and revision, for the ways we can productively re-examine our own stories and dig underneath our familiar narratives of self to find…
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