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JULY 16, 2008

The memoir genre
has successfully
completed rehab
Robert Downey Jr. The Basketball Diaries The Book of My Lifevenn diagram



NONFICTION: The Night of the Gun

The memoir has fallen on hard times lately: James Frey, JT Leroy, Margaret “Jones” Seltzer, Misha Defonseca — a Murderers’ Row of hoaxers and poseurs. Enter David Carr. In piecing together the story of his seemingly impossible journey from coke-dealing crack-house regular to star columnist for the New York Times, Carr decided that he needed a more trustworthy witness than his own recollection, and set out to fact-check his memory. Three years of reporting ensued, including 60 interviews and the examination of hundreds of medical, legal, and personal documents. The resulting book, The Night of the Gun, is the fierce, funny, disturbing, brutally honest, and ultimately uplifting story of Carr’s descent into a self-inflicted hell and bumpy return trip to life.

Part investigative page-turner, part redemption song, part meditation on the mercurial nature of memory, The Night of the Gun pulls a besmirched genre out of the gutter, drags it through rehab, and returns it to a respectable place in society. And, if there is any justice, a place on the best-seller list.

Today’s VSL was recommended and written by Arianna Huffington — co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the author of twelve books, including her latest, Right Is Wrong.

BUY The Night of the Gun (Simon & Schuster; hardcover; 400 pages)

SEARCH for more information on David Carr and The Night of the Gun

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