With the memoir genre in something of a heyday, what standards should renderers of their own lives be held to? How do writers merge facts with a compelling story arc, is it ever okay to conflate time or events, how important is what gets left out, and who is hurt when what’s on the page doesn’t contain the whole truth? The Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s Literary Editor Jason Steger gets to the bottom of matters with bestselling Inheritance memoirist and author Dani Shapiro and essayist, memoirist and New York Review of Books Editor-at-Large Daniel Mendelsohn.

Presented by ARA.
Daniel Mendelsohn is supported by Rowena Danziger AM and Ken Coles AM. Dani Shapiro is supported by Kathy and Greg Shand.

Daniel Mendelsohn (International)

Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn is the Editor-at-Large of The New York Review of Books and an award-winning memoirist, critic, essayist and translator. A longtime contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review, he has also been a columnist on books, film, TV and culture for BBC Culture, New York Magazine, Harper's and The New York Times Book Review. His books include the memoirs An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic, the internationally bestselling Holocaust family saga The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, and three collections of essays, most recently The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones.

Dani Shapiro (International)

Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro is the author of the instant New York Times bestselling memoir Inheritance. Her other books include the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Along with teaching writing workshops around the world, Dani has taught at Columbia and New York University, and is the Co-Founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. In 2019, Dani launched an original podcast, Family Secrets, in collaboration with iHeartMedia. An iTunes Top 10 podcast, the series features stories from guests who – like Dani – have uncovered life-altering and long-hidden secrets from their families’ past. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Jason Steger (Australian)

Jason Steger

Jason Steger is books editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He is a former panellist of ABC TV's The Book Show.