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.
Give, give, give - what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don't share it? I don't intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine.
There's basically an element of fiction in everything you remember. Imagination and memory are almost the same brain processes. When I write fiction, I know that I'm using a bunch of lies that I've made up to create some form of truth. When I write a memoir, I'm using true elements to create something that will always be somehow fictionalized.
My father left when I was three, and I have no memory of him. The most significant male figures in my life were my grandfather, in whose house I lived during the first 10 years of my childhood, and later my stepfather.
Mordecai Wyatt Johnson