On Memoir: Mommy, You Did What?

July 14, 2015 § 4 Comments


Little girl looks shocked at something she sees on the computer

Holey Moley Mommy!

In the NY Times Sunday Book Review, Noelle Howey examines those awkward moments when a memoirist’s children are old enough to read the book. An excerpt below followed by a link to her entire article:

The moment I walked out of the closet, I eagerly climbed onto a soapbox. If a thought felt taboo or inappropriate, that meant it warranted — no, demanded — expression. So I shared how, at the age of 9, I made out with a neighborhood companion. How at 15, I implored my boyfriend to have sex. How I stole my mother’s lingerie, and wore it while humping a door frame.

I could go on, but I won’t — largely because, somewhere in my 30s, I developed the ability to become embarrassed. I’m no longer quite as thrilled that all my youthful misadventures have their own I.S.B.N. And practically speaking, my book’s tell-all nature has complicated my life as a parent. For example, if my middle-school-age daughter ever asks me when I lost my virginity, I have to tell her the truth. After all, it’s searchable on Google Books.

Read They’ve Said Too Much

§ 4 Responses to On Memoir: Mommy, You Did What?

  • ch4rl13sm1th says:

    I’m a bit young to concern myself with, “what will my children think,” and yet this is the time to do it. Great article, very relatable.

  • princessennui says:

    Interesting, but there are worse things to put out there. At least you have the discretion, some people don’t even get that.

  • dominique says:

    Thanks for this. First memoir was easy because talk was cute and honest.Think it’s harder to write now that they’re all nearly teens as in a way I feel that their privacy must not be invaded…but relate to point about “what young memoir lacks in perspective, it makes up in urgency’

  • I feel so much better about my memoir now… I don’t have any kids!

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