Well, look at all the great fiction writers who have such brilliance about the characters they create, but know very little about themselves. Here’s a perfect example. Doris Lessing is a great writer in my view, but also very limited in some ways. There are novels and stories she’s written that are extraordinarily perceptive about men and women, but when she writes her own memoirs, she is stupid. She doesn’t know how to create out of her own unsurrogated self a narrator who knows how to be honest. So her memoirs are dishonest in the sense that where self-knowledge is required, it doesn’t work.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Jessica Gross interviews Vivian Gornick. On writer versus persona in memoir: