What’s the Difference Between an Autobiography and a Memoir?

Good question.

Autobiography, from the Greek Auto (self), bio (life) and graphein (to write), is a book written about one’s own life. Distinguished from a biography, which is an account of someone’s life written by someone else.

Famous autobiographies include:

The difference between an autobiography and a memoir exists within the scope of a book. Autobiographies cover the entire life of the subject; they might employ structural devised that take you backwards and forwards or even start at the end and finish at birth, but they ultimately tell the story of an entire life.

Memoirs are more concerned with specific incidences or periods of time (e.g. a war memoir). Although background may be given to other periods of a subject’s life, the focus is thematically placed on an aspect of a life rather than a life in its entirety.

Examples of great memoirs include:

Follow me on twitter @hayleytheghost

View all posts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s