I can think of a few books, such as The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, and I Can Hear You Whisper by Lydia Jones. In both these novels, the author was narrating a true experience, but at the same time, she was writing large passages in which she interviewed scientists or made references to historical information to further illustrate the issues at the present time.

  • Welcome to Writers Stack Exchange, I don’t think there’s is a term for it but in House Of Leaves (don’t worry about the author, the book is well-known) with authors and phsycholigsts the author made up, some were real with actual statements but it depended on the subject; this made it realistic Jan 6, 2018 at 16:21
  • If you are looking for a certain word in the English Language I think this should be better posted on EnglishLanguageAndUsage.SE. I am voting to close this question as off-topic.
    – Secespitus
    Jan 10, 2018 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


I'm writing this as an answer because I don't have enough reputation to comment.

What you're describing to me sounds like a blend of literary journalism (the research part) and memoir (personal story). Or a well-researched memoir, which, at least in the memoir class I took several years ago, seems to be encouraged. I was taught that good memoir should have meaning in the larger historical context, as well as your own personal story, and that does require, as you said, references to historical information and perhaps even interviews. This is what differentiates memoir from autobiography.

Source: I took a college class on writing memoir from a professor who has written and published several of her own. For her privacy, I'm not posting her name here.

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