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Memoirs: Is Enough, Enough?

“Are there too many memoirs out there? Are too many being written? Is enough, enough?” writes Joe Mackall, editor at River Teeth in the most recent issue. “After all, for the last twenty-five years we’ve read memoirs on every conceivable subject. Some great, some good, some fair, some poor . . . I’m treating my question rhetorically, of course.” He suggests that nobody ever questions if people should stop writing poems, plays, or movies, so the same question should not be asked of memoirs. Yet, critics do. “Those of us who love memoir know how some critics appear to delight in deriding them,” he says.

What probably doesn’t come as a surprise, Mackall answers his question with a resounding no. “I need more than family stories. I need them all. I need the lives of others. And yes, all great art gives us these lives all the time. But it seems to be the special province of memoir, its simplest and purest objective.”

This Spring 2013 issue features the work of Amy A. Whitcomb, Kirk Wilson, Sonja Livingston, Glenn Moomau, Philip Gerard, Marilyn Bousquin, Kathryn Wilder, Richard Goodman, Jackson Connor, and A. Sandosharaj.

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