Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Autobiography is one of the glories of Western literature. Through self-examination and confession (in the manner of Augustine of Hippo or Rousseau), the individual is able to explain how he came to be himself and (in the manner of André Malraux or Arthur Koestler, to select just two from innumerable examples) to record his own moral, intellectual, and political course against the background of his times. A fictionalizing memoirist—a Casanova, a Baron Münchausen, or some passing celebrity—is easily detected, and the questionable light that an autobiography sometimes throws on its subject is itself integral to the strength of the genre.
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