Gossiping with the Dead

At what point does memoir become biography and biography become history?

Rose and Bertha Gugger, by Albert Anker, 1883 © Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images.

It says something of my previous ignorance about the state of motherhood that, before giving birth, I agreed to be a judge on a literary prize in the months that followed. As we reach the end of the year, however, it does mean that I have read an enormous number of biographies and have had time – between feeding, burping and changing – to think about the nature of biography itself.

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