Why these people, though, and why now? As a keen reader of memoirs, I think it could be partly down to the “aha” experience you have when you hear someone else tell a story you deeply relate to. In SA, specifically, we perhaps the need to hear our own stories 25 years into democracy. It is also surely because the novel, having wandered into a tricky postmodern territory, has lost its fan base; and partly, perhaps because we live in an age of psychotherapy, where baring the soul is considered cathartic and right. Melinda Ferguson, who after writing her own memoirs — Smacked (2005), Hooked (2010) and Crashed (2015) — went on to become a publisher, believes the road to the memoir’s moment was paved by TV. “Memoir has definitely gained popularity in recent years with the advent of reality TV, where there has been a growing fascination, even obsession, with the drama and intimate lives of people.”  Ferguson says evidence of the memoir boom is that as a publisher of memoir she regularly ...

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