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Another problem in all this truth-seeking while crafting a memoir:  Was this book to be my truth or that of the people I knew?  To whom did I owe allegiance?  Unlike in my work as a literary journalist or scholar, where my primary aim was to convey others’ truth, (I have written books about French bakers and Argentine shepherds, and academic papers about Mexican immigrants and Indian women,) here the truth conveyed could only be my own.  I didn’t have access, nor did I seek access, to the experiences of my past companions.  That was not the mission of my memoir.  In fact, at a certain point in the writing, I needed to avoid others’ memories and perspectives altogether, so as to preserve my own recollections, and not muddy the one truth I was after: my own, my own story.  But is that the truth, then?  You see how fast you can slip into a whirlpool, with piranhas drawing near.

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