Recently, I attended my 40th high school class reunion. Along with taunts about receding hairlines and expanding waistlines, anecdotes about our high school antics punctuated the festivities. What stood out was that each of us remembered the same fact-based events from a uniquely personal point of view.
If put in writing, the stories recounted at any reunion would qualify as memoirs. The individualized first-person point of view is what sets the memoir, from a French word meaning memory or reminiscence, apart from other genres of literary nonfiction. Unlike the autobiography — the story of a life — a memoir is a story from a life.
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