Using the framework of a rhetorical theory of narrative, I advance two main arguments. (1) The concept of the implied author is as useful for the understanding of nonfictional narrative as it is for fictional narrative. In developing this case, I identify and counter the underlying reasons why the concept encounters resistance from many theorists (Occam's razor and the anti-intentionalist orthodoxy of contemporary theory). (2) The concept of the implied author and the distinction between fiction and nonfiction help capture the different rhetorical dynamics of unreliable and deficient narration. The first is intentionally off kilter and the second is unintentionally so. I then explore the consequences of key passages of deficient narration in Didion's and Bauby's memoirs.

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