Memoirs are a diverse type of genre, focusing on extremely personal experiences of the authors. Regardless of the differing topics, there are several similarities among the different examples. The three examples I chose to focus on are: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, The Diary of Anne Frank , and A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah.
I have found that memoirs generally target an audience that wishes to be brought into the shoes of the author. This audience can differ in ages often, depending on the topic of the memoir, but all want to understand the authors experiences. The authors infer that the audience needs to be shown how they felt as they experienced what they write about. The author understands that the audience also believes the memoir to be a recounting of true experiences and information. If this is trust between the author and reader is broken, it often ruins the memoir for both parties. Authors that write memoirs use techniques like focusing in on detail and paying attention to the little things to bring the reader directly into their situation. They want others to see them as a truthful voice, reflecting on their past.
The three examples I chose to focus on all differ from one another, based upon topic, all share the notion that they are tales of true experiences of the author. All of them share the personal thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the author as they recount their personal experience. All are distinctly personal. Often times, these memoirs tell difficult stories and have an intense impact on the reader.
I infer similar things about my audience as the authors of published memoirs assume about their own audience. My readers will want truth, though my memoir won’t be one of a harrowing journey. They will expect that I have enough grounding in the topic I write about—they will expect authenticity. They will expect my opinions. I will make sure I focus on detail in my memoir. These are important to bring my reader to the setting in which I formed my thoughts surrounding education. Ultimately, I want people to see me as knowledgeable and trustworthy. My genre will be stating only opinions, not fact. I want my opinions to be respected and understood by my readers. That is what is the most important to me.