The memoir has been on the march for more than a decade now. Readers have long since gotten used to the idea that you do not have to be a statesman or a military commander - or, like Saint-Simon or Chateaubriand, a witness to great events - to commit your life to print. But the genre has become so inclusive that it's almost impossible to imagine which life experiences do not qualify as memoir material.
Canvassing the publishers' catalogs, I was intrigued to see "All in My Head," by Paula Kamen. It's about a headache the author has been carrying around for more than a decade. It will do battle on the bookstore shelves with, among many others, "Fat Girl," by Judith Moore, a memoir of growing up fat and female, which in turn will compete with another fat-girl memoir, "I'm Not the New Me," by Wendy McClure, which will square off against "Faith in Carlos Gomez: A Memoir of Salsa, Sex, and Salvation," by Samantha Dunn, who found a new way of life, and a book topic, when she signed up for dance lessons. Then there's "House," by Michael Ruhlman. It's about a house. Is there not something to be said for the unexamined life?
I can't believe people are willing to pay actual money for these books. And now I'm wondering why I'm still here, blogging away for nothing, when I could be selling books about managing my almost-daily TMJ headaches, living the good life in a soprano-size body, or dithering over what color to paint the kitchen of my little Cape Cod house.
Hmm. If I'm not back by this time tomorrow, just assume that I've found a sucker--er, a publisher who's interested in paying for the kind of stuff bloggers give away every day for free.