There's been a great deal of talk about the faux memoir scandals of late, some of it both interesting and insightful (like this this, and this).
However, scandals like this obscure what I think is a more significant problem with memoirs right now, which is that everyone seems to think that their life experience necessitates one.
Recent issues in Publishers Weekly have braced me for the gripping stories of....:
Someone who was addicted to drugs!
Someone who gave up sex!
Someone who had too much sex!
Someone who got pregnant when she was 23, and was not quite ready to deal with it!
No. You do not get to write a memoir for doing any of these things unless you are famous, renowned, or widely respected for doing something that is notable. It does not get to be your first book, and it probably shouldn't be your second.
That is just how I feel about it.
Then again, it might be precisely that feeling that tempts people to fabricate wild, implausible stories about waking up on an airplane with a hole in one's cheek, joining the Bloods, or hiding from Hitler in a wolf pack.
Another thought on the fake memoirs of late -- to read about it, you'd think this kind of thing had never happened before. It just doesn't seem like there's been such an outpouring of shock and indignation when this kind of thing has happened in the past with books like Mutant Message Down Under, The Education of Little Tree and Go Ask Alice.
I find the last one particularly disturbing since it is still in print, still credited to "Anonymous," still on school reading lists, and still attracting teen readers, despite its epic crappiness.