Family memoir and self-discovery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the increasingly popular genre of family memoir, authors take readers with them as they pursue the details of the lives of their parents and other relatives. Emphasising both the painstaking quest for information about a family past they did not know and the highly personal nature of such projects, family memoirs straddle the boundaries between history, biography, and autobiography. Family memoir is an aspect of the graphic-art works of Art Spiegelman and Alison Bechdel, but it has also been pursued by academics and journalists, including Daniel Mendelsohn, Alexander Stille, and Bliss Broyard. Often resented by their authors living relatives, these chronicles appeal to readers because they pose universal questions about the connections between family history and personal identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalLife Writing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • autobiography
  • ethics in life writing
  • family memoir
  • memoir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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