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Difference Between Autobiography And Memoirs

autobiographyAutobiography vs Memoirs

A lot of people interchange the words ‘autobiography’ and ‘memoirs’ during conversations. While informally this is accepted, there are certain obvious distinctions between the both words because of which certain non-fictions are titled autobiographies whereas others are called memoirs.

Autobiography refers to a self written account of one’s life from birth until the time of writing. Memoirs, on the other hands, refers to a self-written account of random events, feelings, phases in one’s life that stands out in the memories of that person because of the impact it created on that person’s life.

Autobiography is chronological ‘“ it follows a certain timeline whereas a memoir does not have any strict timeline. The author can jump to an event which happened when he or she was twenty years old and then go on to discuss another chapter of his or her life when he or she was just about five years old.

An autobiography delves into various other relationships of the author and gives a lot of background information about the author such as where he or she grew up, studied, background about the parents and the siblings etc. On the other hand, a memoir being a random set of recollections put together, does not delve too much into those details. Therefore, while the autobiography may let the reader draw his or her own conclusions about the author acted a certain way through the background and related information given in the book, doing the same in a memoir will be difficult for the reader as the book is a set of independent recollections. Some may have relation to each other and may not.

Autobiographies generally become best selling only if written by a famous person or celebrity. Nobody wishes to read the birth and life of a nobody. On the other hand, a memoir can be written by anybody as long as the anecdotes are witty, interesting and something that the reader can relate to in his or her life.

Autobiography can sometimes fail to stir the emotions of a reader because the triumphs and failures of the author can get lost somewhere in the trivia that is demanded from an autobiography. A memoir, on the other hand, is more personal because the author recollects it vividly because it has impacted him or her in a certain manner.

Memoirs need not be about events that revolved around the author. It may be something that happened to a third person but affected the author deeply. An autobiography is much more inward looking and typically revolves around the author.

1.An autobiography is a self-written account of the author from birth until the book is published whereas a memoir is a random set of events that occurred and impacted the author’s life
2.An autobiography is chronological but a memoir does not follow any timelines
3.A memoir is more personal and emotional than an autobiography
4.A memoir can be written by anybody whereas an autobiography is generally written by a celebrity

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