Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory

Maureen Murdock
Published in 2003
by Seal Press

“Memory is rarely whole or factually correct....What we remember is a reconstruction of image and feeling that suits our needs and purposes.” Author and psychotherapist Maureen Murdock begins this two-part book by exploring the mutability of memory and its powerful connection to identity, drawing upon her own experiences with a mother struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and examining works of memoir by authors such as Isabel Allende, J. M. Coetzee, and Mary Karr. The second part of the book acts as a primer guiding writers through the practical elements of craft with writing exercises and chapters including “Getting Started,” “Universality,” and “Emotional Truth and the Voice of the Narrator.”