The Pornography of Misery Memoirs
An argument repeated by publishers to me when justifying the harrowing detail is that “the readers of these books are less well educated and need graphic detail to make them understand the impact of abuse”.
Oh, please! How stupid does a person have to be if they don’t understand the terrible impact of sexual abuse without having to read the horrific detail?
The chief reason to include detail that borders on pornographic is to entertain a prurient readership which would otherwise be reading about Fred and Rose West in the kind of True Crime books upmarket publishers like to sneer at.
Publishers churn out these misery tales for one reason: they ell.