At the February meeting of our Lake Macquarie branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW (FAWNSW) one of our members, Pam Garfoot, introduced us to the work of Patti Miller. Patti is a well-recognised writer of non-fiction (The Mind of a Thief published by UQP in 2012) and memoir (Ransacking Paris published in 2015). Patti has also published books designed to uncover some of the writing processes behind life writing (e.g., Writing True Stories published by Allen & Unwin in 2017).
Autobiography and memoir share are a common interest in the writer’s own stories but, broadly speaking, autobiography aspires toward being comprehensive while memoir seeks distillation of themes. One of the reasons so many of us are drawn to writing our memoirs is that the very process of writing itself provides a way through the quagmires and mazes of our experiences. Through successive drafts, we start to find the threads that run through our lives.