The rise of the “misery memoirs”

When I was little I remember there were a lot of magazines in which people told their sufferings (My story, Real stories, etc.). You could see on three or four pages the story of a girl that was abussed when she was little: that made her feel better (it’s always good to share) and lots of people read that and felt sorry for her and maybe felt identified with the girl. But why is that? It is true that when you write about your traumatic experiences it is easier to deal with the past, but why do people read that? I remember going home by train and seeing all the women in the train reading this kind of magazines, and you can still see this only that now this is not only present in magazines, but also in books.

But, in Great Britain, where people are seen as very cold, how can these kind of books get to be written and get to be bestsellers? Actually in Britain there are 3 such books in the top 10 best-selling papebacks. The atitude in Britain is changing, people are not afraid anymore of telling those intimate things and it seems there are a lot of readers for this new genre. How is this possible? Brendan O’Neill explains it is this article.18

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