I have more freedom when I write fiction, but my memoirs have had a much stronger impact on my readers. Somehow the 'message,' even if I am not even aware that there is one, is conveyed better in this form.
I have been a foreigner all my life, first as a daughter of diplomats, then as a political refugee and now as an immigrant in the U.S. I have had to leave everything behind and start anew several times, and I have lost most of my extended family.
I get thousands of letters, and they give me a feeling of how each book is perceived. Often I think I have written about a certain theme, but by reading the letters or reviews, I realise that everybody sees the book differently.
I have written about Chile extensively, and therefore I have read many books on the subject, mostly for research.
Helen Gurley Brown
Friedrich August von Hayek