I have been for some time now been attempting a novella which involves a fierce scraping of my memories in order to fictionalise events in the life of my Pakistani doctor father. Apart from the usual writing/energy challenges, it feels like quite a brutal mining of myself, and for reasons beyond me the narrative is emerging as third person omniscient. A writer friend suggested that the technical challenges of this point of view mirror the emotional challenges. I like that theory.
I am, therefore, fascinated more than ever by childhood, memory and narrative.
Some interesting radio programmes from Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' series:
Autobiographical writing and Contemporary Fiction', a 15 minute essay slot which explores the complex intertwining of autobiography and fiction, the blurring of selves: 'These gaps between the different versions of the self leave spaces for fictional invention'.
References are made to Lydia Davis, Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt.
I also liked the sentence: 'Memories are revised every time we remember'.
And here on childhood and memory, a longer 45 minute programme: 'Who's Got Hold of Children's Imaginations', writer Patrick Ness suggests that writing is 'the novelist's way to pin down the world and . . . contain anxiety'. (8.30 mins)