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Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.



When you read an autobiography, you're reading the story of someone's life written in their own words: from the day they were born up until, well, whenever the autobiography is written. Unlike a memoir, which focuses on specific times or topics in a person's life, an autobiography is interested in the development of the writer over the course of his or her life (from birth to death). And unlike a biography, an autobiography comes straight from the author's mouth… or pen.

Benjamin Franklin's The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a classic example of the genre—heck, it's right there in the title.

Tags: General, Genre