Aired: March 6, 2010

Autobiography as AutoFiction

Marc Lee Raphael (College of William and Mary) says our identities are formed by a narrative that we construct about ourselves that is part fiction and part fact.  In Raphael’s most recent book, Diary of a Los Angeles Jew, 1947-1972: Autobiography as Autofiction, the facts are his diary entries. The fiction is how Marc interprets them 30 years later.  

Also featured: When Jo Tyler (University of Mary Washington) studied her family’s recollections of a childhood camping trip marred by a brother’s serious injury, the linguist found that the retelling of a story by family members has a hidden but powerful effect: it can change memories.  Tyler says memory is fallible and is something we build on, often unwittingly incorporating the stories of others into our own recollections.


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