If an auto-biography involves a tale that is at least partially based on the writer's own life, I'm going to coin auto-bibliography as a tale that informs the reader about his or her own experiences. Maybe often we say we "identify" with a character, but I think that's usually kind of froth of empathy and character motivation that parses to readers as sensible and real. But these are books that I identified with in a more personal way -- I saw myself in them. I mean -- if I can paraphrase Morrissey -- they something to me about my life.
2. Five Auto-Bibliographical Novels
Steven Millhauser, Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer, 1943-1954 by Jeffery Cartwright. A close read of the title gives it away, but this is a faux-biography of a ten-year-old novelist by his eleven-year-old best friend and biographer. The appeal is an incredibly detailed chronicle of childhood imagination, in such a way that vividly captures the spirit of play. For me, at the time I read it, it led to treasure trove of recovered memories -- the non-traumatic sort. (The conceit, spoiler alert, is that the genius artiste Edwin is really no different than any other particular boy who fascinates over comics and spaceships and toys.)
Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude. Again, here is the exactness of the tween/teen years that resonates, in a novel that uses superhero powers as a metaphor in all kinds of cross-wired ways. I explained some of what I love about this book here (in a post whose title also quotes Morrissey -- I may be more of a Smiths fan than I thought I was). While I was reading this book, I wanted only to be reading this book. Not because it's particularly suspenseful or compelling in its plot, but because I really felt at home in reading it. I did not grow up in Brooklyn, my father was neither a painter nor a soul singer, and these characters would have been a few years older than me, and yet I more closely identified with this book than any other I've ever read.
Colson Whithead's Sag Harbor is The Fortress of Solitude on summer vacation. In a way that Lethem captures late 70's/early 80's teenagerdom, Whithead does the same for mid- to late-80's summer vacation on Long Island. He covers the rise of the waffle cone, the summer of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, when everyone said "dag." There's also, here, a whiff of the teenaged fear/suspicion of dads -- one's one, others -- that resonated for me.
David Shields, Dead Languages. Another novel about a teenaged middle-class boy, this one with a stuttering problem and journalist parents. It's been a long time since I'd read this, but feeling pangs of identification with it.
Extra non-novel bonus: Sam Lipsyte, "The Dungeon Master," The Fun Parts. A short story that recalls for me the Weir's Downer Avenue basement, playing D&D -- a game designed for 5-7 role players -- with one other person, with the game being far more about story-telling and problem-solving than dice roles and dwarf vs. beholder melee.