Why do we endlessly tell the stories of our lives? And why do others pay attention when we do? The essays collected here address these questions, focusing on three different but interrelated dimensions of life writing.
The first section, "Narrative," argues that narrative is not only a literary form but also a social and cultural practice, and finally a mode of cognition and an expression of our most basic physiology.
The next section, "Life Writing: Historical Forms," makes the case for the historical value of the subjectivity recorded in ego-documents.
The essays in the final section, "Autobiography Now," identify primary motives for engaging in self-narration in an age characterized by digital media and quantum cosmology.