Some memoirists see themselves as products of their times. Others see themselves in terms of the obstacles they surmounted or movements they created. Samantha Ellis measures herself against the strongest women who live between the covers of novels. Her approach – which the Guardian calls “biblio-autobiography” – is a unique blurring of the lines between fiction and memoir. After all, do we know for sure if what she tells us about herself is “true”? I love discovering new ways that contemporary authors challenge us to decide whether their books describe events that actually happened, could have happened, or might yet happen.
Ellis, Samantha. How To Be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much. Vintage Books, 2015, p. 244.