In some ways, writing a memoir is knocking yourself out with your own fist, if it’s done right. Sure, there’s the pleasure of doing work guaranteed to engage you emotionally—who’s indifferent to their own history? The form always has profound psychological consequence on its author. It can’t not. What project can match it for that? Plus you get to hang out with folks no longer on this side of the grass. Places and times you may have for decades ached after wind up erecting themselves around you as you work.