Even before the controversy that surrounded the publication of A Million Little Pieces, the question of truth has been at the heart of memoir. From Elie Wiesel to Benjamin Wilkomirski to David Sedaris, the veracity of writers’ claims has been suspect. In this fascinating and timely collection of essays, leading writers meditate on the subject of truth in literary nonfiction. As David Lazar writes in his introduction, “How do we verify? Do we care to? (Do we dare to eat the apple of knowledge and say it’s true? Or is it a peach?) Do we choose to? Is it a subcategory of faith? How do you respond when someone says, ‘This is really true’? Why do they choose to say it then?” The past and the truth are slippery things, and the art of nonfiction writing requires the writer to shape as well as explore. In personal essays, meditations on the nature of memory, considerations of the genres of memoir, prose poetry, essay, fiction, and film, the contributors to this provocative collection attempt to find answers to the question of what truth in nonfiction means. Contributors: John D’Agata, Mark Doty, Su Friedrich, Joanna Frueh, Ray González, Vivian Gornick, Barbara Hammer, Kathryn Harrison, Marianne Hirsch, Wayne Koestenbaum, Leonard Kriegel, David Lazar, Alphonso Lingis, Paul Lisicky, Nancy Mairs, Nancy K. Miller, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Phyllis Rose, Oliver Sacks, David Shields, and Leo Spitzer
"Introduces and defines essential elements of writing nonfiction accompanied by compelling writing prompts for practicing new skills. Real-life author bios and excerpts enhance skills and understanding"--
This text engages with current conversations in the popular field of creative nonfiction, which ranges across memoir and biography, the essay, and literary journalism. Designed to meet the growing need resulting from a burgeoning interest in narrative nonfiction, To Tell the Truth emphasizes key elements common to all three major branches of the genre. It assists creative nonfiction writers in developing a writing practice modeled to their unique needs, it addresses the practical tasks of applying elements of craft in the actual process of generating, shaping, developing, and revising material, and it includes contemporary models that represent the rich range and diversity of the genre. A key feature of the text, one seldom found in books on the subject, is the inclusion of a writers on writing section in each chapter, providing personal essays that reveal writers' internal processes--that quirky quality we call creativity--bringing in writers' revelations about uniquely individual approaches to foiling the inner critic and breaking through writer's block.
Creative nonfiction writers wrestle constantly with the boundaries of creative license—what to reveal, when to reveal it, and how best to do it. While the truth may inspire us to make confident assertions, secrets, lies, and half-truths inspire us to delve further into our own writing to discover the heart of the story. The pieces in this collection feature essayists who do this type of detective work. Each essay contains a secret, lie, or half-truth—some of these are revealed by the author, but others remain buried. Ranging from the deep family secret to the little white lie, from the shocking to the humorous, and from the straightforward revelation to the slanted half-truth, these essays ask us to appreciate the magnitude of keeping a secret. They also ask us to consider the obstacles writers must overcome if they want to write about secrets in their own lives and the lives of others. In short interviews following each essay the contributors discuss craft, ethics, creativity, and how they eventually decided to reveal—or not reveal—a secret.
The most inclusive collection of creative nonfiction available, Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Truth is the only anthology that brings together examples of all three of the main forms in the genre: the literary memoir, the personal essay, and literary journalism. Featuring a generous and diverse sampling of more than sixty works, this collection includes beautiful, disturbing, and instructive works of literary memoir by such writers as Mary McCarthy, Annie Dillard, and Judy Ruiz; smart, funny, and moving personal essays by authors ranging from E.B. White to Phillip Lopate to Ntozake Shange; and incisive, vivid, and quirky examples of literary journalism by Truman Capote, Barbara Ehrenreich, Sebastian Junger, and many others. This unique volume also contains examples of captivating nature writing, exciting literary travel writing, brilliant essays in science, surprising creative cultural criticism, and moving literary diaries and journals, incorporating several classic selections to set a context for the contemporary work. The editor's general introduction and introductions to each of the five sections provide useful definitions, crucial history, critical context, and abundant issues to debate. Ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in creative nonfiction, literary journalism, essay writing, and all levels of composition, Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Truth is also an essential resource for all nonfiction writers, from novices to professionals.
This introduction to creative nonfiction examines the building blocks of nonfiction prose one by one, illustrating how individual voice and narrative strategies delineate this literary form from conventional nonfiction. Individual chapters are devoted to detail and description, characterization and scene, distinctive voice, intimate point-of-view, and the various ways in which writers discover the significance or universality of their work. Essays from contemporary nonfiction writers such as Henry Louis Gates, Norma Elia Cantú, Pico Iyer, Joan Didion, and others are integrated directly into the text to illustrate concepts.
"Slice me some truth: An anthology of Canadian creative nonfiction is a ground-breaking survey of today's creative nonfiction in Canada; a complex and captivating field of writing that the editors spent four years exploring in the creation of this book. Covering the areas of memoir, personal essay, literary travel, nature writing, lyric essay as well as researched literary journalism and cultural criticism, Slice me some truth thoroughly explores the depth and breadth of creative nonfiction writing in Canada, highlighting brilliant writing from thirty-six authors from across the country."--Publisher's website.
Crafting Truth introduces the reader to the craft of creative nonfiction by showing them models from the best nonfiction writers and offering plentiful exercises to help them more artfully tell true stories.
Magazine. Literary Nonfiction. Photography. In the Spring 2016 volume of THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FACT: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LITERARY NONFICTION, the writers are working through complicated relationships–including complicated relationships with themselves. In Italy, a woman falls under the sway of a charismatic painter. His motives are more difficult to discern than the images in his oils and acrylics. When she decides to explore this relationship built on earnestness and uncertainty she finds earnestness and uncertainty. In Syria, a young woman and her two younger siblings huddle together seeking safety via escape from the daily bombings in Damascus. For her, ISIS isn't an international news story. ISIS is local news. When bombs are falling all around you, the fallout has a way of changing your relationship with the people all around you. In France, a woman is excited to see a Black Madonna–but race and religion can blind.
A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University
Author: Mark Kramer
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Interested in journalism and creative writing and want to write a book? Read inspiring stories and practical advice from America’s most respected journalists. The country’s most prominent journalists and nonfiction authors gather each year at Harvard’s Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism. Telling True Stories presents their best advice—covering everything from finding a good topic, to structuring narrative stories, to writing and selling your first book. More than fifty well-known writers offer their most powerful tips, including: • Tom Wolfe on the emotional core of the story • Gay Talese on writing about private lives • Malcolm Gladwell on the limits of profiles • Nora Ephron on narrative writing and screenwriters • Alma Guillermoprieto on telling the story and telling the truth • Dozens of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists from the Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and more . . . The essays contain important counsel for new and career journalists, as well as for freelance writers, radio producers, and memoirists. Packed with refreshingly candid and insightful recommendations, Telling True Stories will show anyone fascinated by the art of writing nonfiction how to bring people, scenes, and ideas to life on the page.
Newly collected, revised, and expanded non-fiction--including one original essay--from the first two decades of the twenty-first century by the Booker Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author. Salman Rushdie is celebrated as a storyteller of the highest order, illuminating deep truths about our society and culture through his gorgeous, often searing, prose. Now, in his latest collection of non-fiction, he brings together insightful and inspiring essays, criticism, and speeches that focus on his relationship with the written word, and solidify his place as one of the most original thinkers of our time. Gathering pieces written between 2003 and 2020, Languages of Truth chronicles Rushdie's own intellectual engagement with a period of momentous cultural shifts. Immersing the reader in a wide variety of subjects, he delves into the nature of storytelling as a deeply human need, and what emerges is, in myriad ways, a love letter to literature itself. Rushdie explores what the work of authors from Shakespeare and Cervantes to Samuel Beckett, Eudora Welty, and Toni Morrison mean to him, often by telling vivid, sometimes humorous stories of his own personal encounters with them, whether on the page or in person. He delves deeper than ever before into the nature of "truth," revels in the vibrant malleability of language, and the creative lines that can join art and life, and he looks anew at migration, multiculturalism and censorship. The ideas, true stories, and arguments presented here are at once revelatory, funny, and eye-opening, enlivened on every page by Rushdie's signature wit and dazzling voice, making this volume a genuine pleasure to read. Languages of Truth offers the author's most piercingly analytical views yet on the evolution of literature and culture even as he takes us deep into his own exuberant and fearless imagination.
Can the novel survive in an age when tales of historical figures and contemporary personalities dominate the reading lists of the book-buying public? Naomi Jacobs addresses this question in a study of writers such as William Styron, E. L. Doctorow, and Robert Coover, who challenge the dominance of nonfiction by populating their fictions with real people, living and dead. Jacobs explores the genesis, varieties, and implications of this trend in a prose as lively as that of the writers she critiques. Using as a case study Robert Coover’s portrait of Richard Nixon in The Public Burning, Jacobs addresses the important legal and ethical questions raised by this trend and applies contemporary libel law to the fictionalization of living people, such as Richard Nixon. She closes her study by speculating on the future of this device and of the novel.
Rethinking Disciplinary Boundaries through Critical Literacy
Author: Vivian Yenika-Agbaw
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Literary Criticism
Educators who teach children’s literature at the college level as part of the pre-service experience seldom allocate enough space in the curriculum for nonfiction literature. This book recognizes the viability of nonfiction as a literary genre that demands critical analysis, celebrates storytelling in its varied forms, and invites teacher educators and pre-service teachers, our primary audience, to nurture a spirit of inquiry and skepticism in the classroom. It is an excellent resource for teacher educators looking for a variety of nonfiction texts to include in their literacy curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It also offers critical approaches through which students are encouraged to read these texts, and ideas for critical inquiry with young learners.
Modern, original fiction for learners of English. It is the start of a new school year for teenager Hu at an international school in the exciting city of Bangkok. She has a problem with one of the teachers and does not know what to do. Through an adventure in a national park, acting in a musical and the help of friends, Hu finds the courage to tell the truth.
While popularized by President Donald Trump, the term "fake news" actually originated toward the end of the 19th century, in an era of rampant yellow journalism. Since then, it has come to encompass a broad universe of news stories and marketing strategies ranging from outright lies, propaganda, and conspiracy theories to hoaxes, opinion pieces, and satire—all facilitated and manipulated by social media platforms. This title explores journalistic and fact-checking standards, Constitutional protections, and real-world case studies, helping readers identify the mechanics, perpetrators, motives, and psychology of fake news. A final chapter explores methods for assessing and avoiding the spread of fake news.
Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine
Author: Dinty W. Moore
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"Medicine still contains an oral tradition, passed down in stories: the stories patients tell us, the ones we tell them, and the ones we tell ourselves," writes contributor Madaline Harrison. Bodies of Truth continues this tradition through a variety of narrative approaches by writers representing all facets of health care. And, since all of us have been or will be touched by illness or disability--our own or that of a loved one--at some point in our lives, any reader of this anthology can relate to the challenges, frustrations, and pain--both physical and emotional--that the contributors have experienced. Bodies of Truth offers perspectives on a wide array of issues, from food allergies, cancer, and neurology to mental health, autoimmune disorders, and therapeutic music. These experiences are recounted by patients, nurses, doctors, parents, children, caregivers, and others who attempt to articulate the intangible human and emotional factors that surround life when it intersects with the medical field.