Autobiography vs. Memoir

3/8/16 An autobiography is the story one tells about their life, in chronological order, without hyperbole or conversations that are far too detailed to really be remembered so many years later. Generally, an autobiography is written by someone who is already well-known, with enough name recognition that people will want to read it because of who they are.

A memoir tells a story from someone’s life, with a bit of license to quote conversations or share recollections that the writer can only think they remember accurately. Generally a memoir has a bit more self-revelation, and is often written by someone who isn’t well known (of course, the memoir might change that) and it is the story, rather than the person, that leads people to read it.