I think that 'memoir' might not actually be the most accurate description of Dreaming in Chinese and in fact I think the book is better described as an anthology of essays about studying Mandarin, and the insight one might gain into the Chinese way of life by doing so. This is not to be meant as a disparagement; the book was enthralling. The book is quite understandable and not scholarly study in linguistics.
Having studied Anthropology language and culture is interesting to me anyway but if the book was described as a collection of essays as opposed to memoir it would make it an easier find to readers with a similar background as mine. Someone looking for a story would be let down, I think a person who is interested in different languages and cultures would be captivated.