Wow, we vibe hard on this one, Mary. The seeds of your life that get planted in fiction are REAL and TRUE. Even if you think you're writing about totally fictitious people and situs, you're embedding your soul in it. The Abbot quote hit me hardest here. That's the thing about Writer's Life--it's just life, played out on the page.

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I don't read much memoir or autofiction, but what you say makes a lot of sense. This made me think, for some reason, of the ridiculous woke idea that novelists should only write about things they know from experience. If you take that to its logical extreme, all of us can write only about ourselves. Fiction, including autofiction, enables us to get a glimpse of other people's lives and viewpoints, and serves as a way of bridging the gaps between human beings.

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Jan 20Liked by <Mary L. Tabor>

Another brilliant piece and to readers out there, read Mary's work for its beauty and for its truth. The Burglar is one of my favourites.

Fiction liberated my writing. With memoir, I always felt that someone was peering over my shoulder telling me no, the date is the 1st not the 2nd and it's cheesecake not a blueberry muffin. Stressful.

You ask poignant questions.

If we dismiss out of hand close-to-the-bone, self-revelatory fiction, don’t we miss truths that would otherwise remain unspoken?

We sure do.

Thanks again, Mary xo

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Jan 19·edited Jan 19Liked by <Mary L. Tabor>

I think Ocean Vuong’s work of fiction, ‘On Earth we’re Briefly Gorgeous’ is another good example of a fictionalized autobiographical novel that may be closer to one’s emotional truth that a memoir might be.

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