(This isn't strictly about crime fiction, so feel free to skip....)
Today Augusten Burroughs and St. Martin's announced that they'd settled out of court
with the Turcotte family, whom Burroughs had written about (hilariously and scandalously) in his memoir Running With Scissors
We all know memoirs aren't 100% true...besides the subjective narrator, there are a million little pieces
(heh) in a memoir that get changed for various reasons. Pseudonyms, time compression, character melding (where two or more individuals are melded into one for narrative's sake)...all these are commonly employed, and yet even then no one seems to question a book's status as memoir.
I know Burroughs isn't a crime writer, and neither are other entertaining memoirists (Caroline Knapp, Jeanette Walls, Mary Karr) -- but I've read true-crime books that are also sold as memoir, and most of them come with editor's notes about details that have been changed, compressed, or otherwise fictionalized.
In particular, I'm thinking of a memoir by an Oregon P.I. who helped solve a grisly case of two missing teenage girls...the writer was not only a detective, but also a distant relation-by-marriage of the teens. It seemed...well...fudged. A lot.
My question is: When does a memoir stop being a memoir and become fiction based on actual events