Memoirs are a Window

Recently, a man who had read my book, My Address Book: A Way of Remembering, said to me,
“When I was reading your book, I felt as though I were a Peeping Tom!”
I smiled at him and said not to worry. Inwardly, I was pleased that he expressed that viewpoint because that kind of intimacy between author and reader is exactly what most authors hope for.
We want to draw you in to our inner thoughts, and who doesn’t – secretly, if not overtly – love to peer into others’ lives? That’s the whole point of memoir-writing, isn’t it?
Memoirs are different from autobiographies or biographies. They are a particular prism on an aspect of a person’s life, rather than a merely factual recounting of that life.
The man confirmed that he was drawn in to the narrative because he could relate to some of the events and episodes he found in the book. And, he was intrigued by the houses I described, and he revealed that he himself remembered some of the wallpapers I described in some of those houses I had lived in.
We started a nostalgic conversation and laughed and reminisced. This outcome was exactly what I had been hoping would happen. Two people, a writer and a reader, brought together by some common experiences in a book.