An autobiography is a piece of nonfiction work written by an individual about his own life experiences. This work may be published in the form of a short story, a novel or an essay.
Some authors choose to write a memoir instead, which is a book that is based on a true story but may have different names, locations or events. A memoir generally depicts a specific experience or life lesson in an informal tone, while an autobiography uses a more formal voice and focuses on events throughout the author's entire life. Some well-known autobiographies include "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.