So Many Memoirs: What’s Behind The Genre’s Boom (VPR)


This week, VPR’s “Conversation On the Arts” focuses on the popularity of memoirs. The program’s host, Neal Charnoff, turns to Dartmouth’s Irene Kacandes for her thoughts on the genre.

Kacandes, a professor of German studies and of comparative literature, says that most experts date the recent boom in memoirs back to the 1990s, when books such as Girl Interrupted, Angela’s Ashes, and Tuesdays With Morrie were so popular.

While there are critics of memoirs, Kacandes appreciates their value. “I feel like if someone wants to tell their story, they may be getting something out of the act of narrating about their life. I also feel strongly that not only might the individual writer get something out of it, but if a single other reader finds it valuable then who are we to decide it shouldn’t be out there.”

Listen to the full story, broadcast 5/1/14 on VPR.

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