'Some life-writing critics have pointed to a paradox in Australian autobiography: that of memoir writers paying tribute to their subjects in ways which those subjects would not understand or agree with. In this article, I focus on one facet of this paradox, looking at how various styles of communication are represented in autobiographies. What happens when a highly articulate autobiographer attempts to represent the communicative style of a subject who does not share or value the autobiographer's discursive style? This article surveys a variety of strategies which autobiographers have used, some of which are open to the possibility of valuing a minimalist style of communication, while others condemn it as inarticulate and inexpressive. These varying attitudes connect to a broader cultural debate in Australia. In this debate, an older rural style of communication, which values minimal verbal communication and emotional inexpressivity, is pitted against a more recent urban-based style of communication, which values emotional expressivity and expansive commentary. Intriguingly, this rural speech style (seemingly the antithesis of the autobiographer's art) is represented and valued as an art form by some Australian autobiographers.' -- Publication abstract.