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Memory, Veracity vs Making Things Up

Imagine someone gives you a marvellous interview at an early stage. You recognise gold when you see it and you write it up. It becomes an important facet of your argument in the book. Then, at the eleventh hour, your source regrets her candour, her indiscretion, and very much hopes you won’t use it. What should you do? What will you do?

Alternatively, you have a clear recollection of a major incident in your family memoir, possibly backed by documents. A relation or dear friend – trusted by you – holds a contradictory view of what happened and believes you have simply imagined the incident. Again, what should you do? Whom should you trust?

About Peter Rose

Peter Rose is the author of the award-winning family memoir, ‘Rose Boys’. Throughout the 1990s he was a publisher at Oxford University Press in Australia. He has been Editor of Australian Book Review since 2001.


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