Collective Memory

In David Carr's hands, the addiction memoir offers a chance to set the record straight

David Carr

Carr under arrest in 1988

Every memoir is in one sense an argument--a writer's version of his or her past. But, as readers who cashed in their debunked copies of A Million Little Pieces know, recent memoirs have been just as notable for the arguments they raise about the intersection of fact, truth and memory.

In The Night of the Gun (Simon & Schuster; 389 pages), his arresting story of addiction and recovery, David Carr takes on these issues by trying to pre-empt them. Carr, an ex--crack addict turned media columnist for the New York Times, faces two problems in writing his story: he was so...

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