The Liars' Club Historical Context

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A memoir differs from an autobiography in that it does not cover the writer's entire life, only selected portions. Traditionally, memoirs were written by public figures late in their lives, reflecting on great events in which they had played a part. Thus, politicians and statesmen have been noted memoirists. In a memoir, the focus was usually not on the writer, but on other well-known people the writer had known or encountered.

While there have always been literary memoirs as well as those by statesmen, in the 1990s the nature of the memoir genre began to change. Many of the new memoirs were written by relatively unknown writers with unusual experiences to relate rather than by well-known public figures. Susanna Kaysen's Girl Interrupted (1994), for example, was a bestselling memoir of Kaysen's life in a mental institution. Frequently, the new memoirs were about the author's childhood, with an...

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This section contains 619 words
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The Liars' Club from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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