Memoirs have never been more popular, but do they tell us what really happened? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the art of the memoir, and the problem of faulty memories. Also, a writer who woke up from a coma to discover she'd lost her memory, and then found a way to put her life back together.
Hollywood writer Jill Robinson suffered an epileptic seizure resulting in amnesia and some permanent memory loss. She chronicles her experience in "Past Forgetting: My Memory Lost and Found" and tells Jim Fleming what it was like to not recognize her own husband. Also, Jo Ann Beard shares some of her earliest memories with Steve Paulson. Beard is the author of a collection of autobiographical essays called "The Boys of My Youth.SEGMENT 2:
Judith Strasser provides a commentary on writing and reading memoirs. And, writing guru William Zinsser praises memoirs, and says the best of them (such as "Angela's Ashes" and "This Boy's Life") are written with humor and love. Walter Kirn, book critic for New York magazine and author of the novel "Thumbsucker," tells Steve Paulson that Americans undervalue fiction. He sees the fad for memoir driving good fiction off the shelves. Also, Patricia Hampl talks with Steve Paulson about the ethics of publishing family secrets. Hampl is the author of two memoirs - "A Romantic Education" and "Virgin Time" - and an essay collection - "I Could Tell You Stories.SEGMENT 3:
World War Two veteran Fred Rochlin tells a long, funny, and occasionally racy story about being trapped behind enemy lines with a Yugoslavian woman Resistance fighter. Suffice it to say they end up in a VD ward! Rochlin's memoir is "Old Man in a Baseball Cap.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 00-02-20-B.
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