LEISURE: REAL-LIFE MISERY. READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Unlikely as it may seem, some 700 people paid $10 each last week to get into a Manhattan auditorium and sit--or stand--through a panel discussion on "The Memoir Explosion: Novel of the '90s or Just Another Brand of Therapy?" Most attention went to two of the panelists: Frank McCourt, whose best-selling memoir, Angela's Ashes, had just the day before won a Pulitzer Prize for biography, and Kathryn Harrison, whose memoir The Kiss, also a best seller, tells of an incestuous affair between her and her father that began when she was 20. A year ago, hardly anyone in the audience had...

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