Memoirist Dani Shapiro addresses a disillusioned Facebook reader in an open letter

Slow Motion

Dani Shapiro’s best-selling memoir “Slow Motion” was published by Random House in 1998.  I have not read the book (yet!), but it appears to be a woman’s awakening after a terrible car crash.  The book was reviewed by the New York Times during the same year in an article titled “Wake-up Call.”  Two years later in 2010, the author follows up with “Devotion,” another memoir, which was also reviewed by the New York Times.  The review, titled “Middle of the Journey,” describes Shapiro as a “…a gifted chronicler of frayed nerves.”  In 2013, the New York Times published yet another piece on the author titled “Dani Shapiro’s Provident Move to the Country,” which describes the author’s move from New York City to Connecticut after 9/11, as well as her latest book “Still Writing.”  That’s a lot of press!

Now the author has written an open letter to an angry Facebook user who addressed her on the social media site.  In a letter published January 9, 2014 on Salon.com titled, “Open letter from Dani Shapiro: Dear Disillusioned Reader who Contacted me on Facebook,” the author discusses her frustrations with a reader of her memoirs who was expecting a more comprehensive overview of her life.  She addresses the difference between memoir and autobiography, and explains that memoirists “…choose a view…pick a story to tell.”  I agree with her point of view, but more than anything, I agree that you can’t make everyone happy.

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