I want to write a book involving the life of my father. He's been a political activist during his youth and the events that he narrates are worthy to be recorded.

But I am confused as to what it should be? Like, do I make a biography of his life? What genre should this fall into?

Also, he has turned spiritual in his later years and there's been a series of supernatural events occurring in his life. He has also been fascinated with parapsychology and read a wide variety of books on politics and philosophy.

I want to include all of these elements in my book. But, making it fictional by just changing names will be easier, since it would require less research. I thought about using Google, but not everything is available.

There's been quite a bloody history of the communist party in my state and people faced oppression. He was a youth congress leader and helped people out keeping his own life at risk. All the events are real, but some of them are difficult to put in chronological order.

What should I do? Anyone?

  • 1
    I vote to keep this question open. It is a fair question about choosing the appropriate genre for a certain kind of biographical story.
    – rolfedh
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 0:50

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you want to write a memoir of your father.

The advantage of writing a memoir is that there is no expectation of academic research or factual accuracy; it is a compilation of personal memories and anecdotes.

If your father, family, and friends are still around, it's a great idea to tell them about your project. Invite them to sit around an audio recorder and start trying to remember the stories he told. It's amazing how much more detail and depth you'll be able to collect this way.

In these gatherings, people talk so much faster and freely than anyone can write. Each recollection brings up a bunch of other memories and details, and sometimes disagreements. If you have the time, you might be able to go around and visit some of his old friends. It's also a great time to collect important photographs, news clippings, and other related documents.

The most important thing is to start it now - don't let yourself become tangled up in technicalities - people die and memories fade - the best time to do this is now!

There are lots of helpful topics on memoir writing:

There are also many examples of the genre:

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