One could argue that 1995’s memoir A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive, (than still called an autobiography) by Dave Pelzer, was the beginning of a popular trend that still exists today, despite the controversy surrounding the recent rash of fake memoirs. (It must be pretty tragic to have a life so desiccated that you have to make up a new one, why not just pitch it as fiction to a fiction publishing company or literary agency?)

Dave Pelzer’s inspirational story took us on a journey throughout his childhood, in which he was abused almost daily by the hands of his alcoholic mother. The word abuse, in his case, is a serious understatement. Pelzer’s mother starved him, made him eat his brother’s feces, intentionally burned him on the hot stove, made him drink ammonia, and locked him down in the basement, chained to the wall, where he had no other choice but use the bathroom on himself. Humiliation is another serious understatement, as well as the word brave. Pelzer showed signs of being a modern day knight in shining armor for kids everywhere who had, or were being abused. This is what memoirs are all about. Everyone likes to know they aren’t alone- that they can relate in ways that aren’t always motivated by glitz and glamour.

Pelzer’s memoir was only the second I had read, it was recommended to me by my lover at the time. Drew Barrymore’s Little Girl Lost was the first autobiography I had been exposed too. I was 15 years old, Barrymore’s book served as my “higher power” in a time when my own childhood was less than satisfactory. She gave me hope. She made feel like everything was going to be ok, that I could do it on my own, and that in theory, I wasn’t alone in what I was going through. My family wasn’t as screwed up as hers was, but it came close enough.

Since these memoirs/autobiographies, there have been numerous others. Some of my favorites are: Susanna Kaysen’s Girl Interrupted, and Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation and More, Now, Again.

I’m currently reading Diablo Cody’s (writer of the popular movie Juno) Candy Girl : A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper. I’m proud to say that I have jumped on the memoir bandwagon. I’m currently working on the third chapter of a memoir based on events in my life that caused me to re-evaluate the things I thought I knew and understood. Events that changed my perspectives on life, and at the same time left me questioning “why”? I’ll make sure to keep you posted, and I look forward to interacting with other both my readers and other bloggers. Until then….




4 thoughts on “Introducing….Memoirs

  1. Dear Sara and Amber,

    It is readers like yourselves that inspire me to continue writing. I truly appreciate your feedback, and I hope to see more from you girls in the future.

    I was a little surprised by your ages, considering the content of the book, but it does show your intelligence and your ability to empathize, which is truly a gift at your age(s).

    I apologize for the delay in my response, I’ve been a little sick the last 3 days, and I know my content has been lacking, but I hope for it to pick up soon. Being a writer, while dealing with other necessary outside interferences, can be very busy work! I hope to have my own memoir published within two or three years- if you like Dave Pelzer, or any of the other authors I suggested, I’m sure you’ll enjoy my book.

    Keep reading those books ladies, wisdom is priceless.



  2. i am a 12 year old girl from newport news,VA AND i have read the book a child called it and i am now on the second book and cant wait till i get to the third one!!! but i would recommend this book to anyone who has a heart and feels the pain that the young boy is feeling(this book is not for people that are going to laugh about a little boys pain and suffering throughout his life with no way out because he is scared of the outcome)

  3. yea this book is like the world to me im 14 and my name is amber higgins and this book means the world i just started reading it and i cried after the first chappter you aare a realy goog author and you persway me to read every 1 of your book keep righting!!!!☺

  4. Can’t wait to read it! Love your writing. Keep on rockin’ mama!

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