Writing

Lying, memoir and literary detail: a recording of my talk at St Anne’s, Oxford

I was invited to give a talk on the 17th January at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and I’m glad I went. Very friendly people, good questions, and a lot of free sandwiches. Seriously, so many free sandwiches. I had about 7 and took 2 with me. No remorse.

My talk was about how I wrote Praise of Motherhood, my unconventional memoir about my mother’s death. In particular, I talked about how I chose what details to include and what details to leave out entirely, at the cost of factual truth.

I discussed (in far greater depth during the Q&A than during the talk) the distinction between truth and truthfulness.

There’s a recording of my talk you can check out on YouTube. I didn’t include any of the Q&A or the introduction, for various reasons: sound quality, privacy, etc.

Thanks to the friendly folks at Oxford for inviting me.

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