I think one can be more honest in fiction than in a memoir.
Paul Lisicky, in his new memoir, 'The Narrow Door,' describes losing his old friend, the novelist Denise Gess, and his husband, the acclaimed poet and memoirist Mark Doty, within a year of each other: Gess to cancer, at the age of 57, and Doty to another man.
The memoirs that have come out of Africa are sometimes startlingly beautiful, often urgent, and essentially life-affirming, but they are all performances of courage and honesty.
For a memoir to really succeed, the author has to do such hard work before they come to the page. They have to do a brutal self-examination of everything they believe to be true.
For me, the showbiz memoir is uninteresting - you want to tell people something they don't know about.
The thing that fiction can do is look from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Even memoir leaves me somewhat frustrated. I think now we need a poet to uncover what isn't on the surface.
I'm not usually drawn to memoir - many run the risk of self-aggrandizement or score-settling.
That's all true, but there was something else going on for me as a kid, something about my gender identity that I haven't figured out yet. And that's one of the things I'm hoping to dissect and investigate in this memoir project.
I was told that my best-case scenario would likely consist of writing my memoir and then disappearing.
I read contrived memoirs by presidential candidates. For every 'Dreams From My Father' - Barack Obama's honest, literary portrayal of his biracial upbringing - there were a dozen cautious, formulaic vanity projects by politicians.