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difference between a memoir and an autobiography

The Difference between a Memoir and an Autobiography

The difference between  a memoir and an autobiography can be rather minimal—or fairly large.

“So what is the difference between a memoir and an autobiography?” you may persist in asking as so many people do. Perhaps they are masking their diffidence about writing, wanting to “get it right.”

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Practically speaking, for most people, there is no difference between a memoir and an autobiography. In common speech, the terms are interchangeable.

People say, “I’m writing an autobiography” or, “I’m writing a memoir.” (It’s the word memoir that has grown not the word autobiography that has shrunk.)

But, technically (or perhaps in the historical meaning of the two words), there is a difference between a memoir and an autobiography.

Two definitions

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