Memoir is a nonfiction subgenre that presents a written collection of memories about a person’s life. Rather than recording a thorough summary of life events, as in autobiography, memoir doesn’t encompass the writer’s entire life story but focuses on a particular area or stage, and includes the writer’s takeaway from these occurrences. Memoir is usually written in the first person point of view and is less factual and research-based than other nonfiction categories.
Celebrated author Gore Vidal offers a helpful definition: "a memoir is how one remembers one's own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked."
A classic memoir is Henry David Thoreau's 1854 Walden about the writer’s two-year seclusion in a cabin near Walden Pond. Elie Wiesel’s harrowing Holocaust memoir Night is a notable book in the genre.
If you write memoir, explore this subgenre to connect with other like-minded writers, workshop, and publish your book.