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The Best Creative Nonfictionby Lee Gutkind
Synopses & Reviews
'\'From Lee Gutkind, the \\\"Godfather behind creative narrative nonfiction\\\" (Vanity Fair), and the staff of the landmark literary journal Creative Nonfictioncomes this fresh collection of fact-based personal narratives, mined from literary blogs, \\\'zines, and other fringe publications. In \\\"My Glove: A Biography,\\\" Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freakand a Wall Street Journalreporter, traces the history of his baseball glove\\\'\\\"\\\"the one thing I would be devastated to lose, my last, best connection to the baseball that defined my life as a kid\\\"\\\'\\\"as he relinquishes it to the glove designer at Rawlings for an overhaul. Heidi Julavits, editor of The Believer, imagines a future in which book-related fatalities\\\'\\\"\\\"Death of the intellect is one thing, but actual death is quite another\\\"\\\'\\\"revolutionize the writer\\\'s market. This new volume of The Best Creative Nonfictioncontinues to engage and delight with exceptional work from writers old and new.\''
"With the big subjects of life and death framing the smaller frustrations of everyday existence, this third volume in the Creative Nonfiction series showcases a type of journalism that in many ways is informed by cutting-edge media. Indeed, of the 25 essays reprinted, one-quarter first appeared on the Web. As diverse as the subjects are, so are the writers represented. Likewise, there is a range in length, from blogs under one page to 20-page narratives. Predictably, the essays also display varying levels of inspiration and sparkle. Among the standouts is five-time Pushcart winner Brenda Miller on a girl's changing relationship with her body as she grows into womanhood; Edwidge Danticat on an uncle's love of the ultimate expletive; an emotional 'Letter from a Japanese Crematorium' by Marie Mutsuki Mockett; a family car deal gone awry by Margaret Conway; an exploration of the meaning of the mass murders at Virginia Tech through the sad eyes of gunman Seung-Hui Cho by Wesley Yang. The energetic Gutkind (Almost Human) edits his lean anthology with panache and gusto." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Intelligent but accessible, and oftenpoignant . . . [by] the biggest talents on theessay and blog beat." -PublishersWeekly (on Vol. 2)
'Narrative nonfiction at its cutting-edge best from writers at the cusp of recognition and fame.\n
'\'\\\"Blending precise research and astute observation with flavorful, fascinating narratives.\\\"\\\'\\\"Publishers Weekly, starred review (for Vol. 1)\\n
'Lee Gutkind, proclaimed the \"Godfather behind creative nonfiction\" by Vanity Fair, along with the staff of his landmark journal Creative Nonfiction, has culled alternative publications, \'zines, blogs, podcasts, literary journals, and other often overlooked publications in search of new voices and innovative ideas\'\"essays and articles written with panache and power.\"The Truth About Cops and Dogs,\" by Rebecca Skloot, describes a vicious pack of wild dogs, preying on the domesticated pets of Manhattan. Monica Wojcik\'s \"The w00t Files,\" for the chic geek crowd, comes directly from John McPhee\'s famous Literature of Fact workshop at Princeton, a launching pad for famous young writers. Daniel Nestor, of McSweeney\'sand Bookslut, explains James Frey, while the very overweight Michael Rosenwald becomes a Popular Sciencenearly nude centerfold in a quest for knowledge about high-tech diagnostics.'
Anyone still asking, "What is creative nonfiction?" will find the answer in this collection of artfully crafted, true stories. Selected by Lee Gutkind, the "godfather behind creative nonfiction," and the staff of Creative Nonfiction, these stories--ranging from immersion journalism to intensely personal essays--illustrate the genre's power and potential. Edwidge Danticat recalls her Uncle Moïse's love of a certain four-letter word and finds in his abandonment of the word near the end of his life the true meaning of exile. In "Literary Murder," Julianna Baggott traces her roots as a novelist to her family's "strange, desperate (sometimes conniving and glorious) past" and writes about her decision, in The Madam, to kill off a character based on her grandfather. And Sean Rowe explains why, if you must get arrested, Selma, Alabama, is the place to do it. This exciting and expansive array of works and voices is sure to impress and delight.
About the Author
Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and a pioneer in the field of narrative nonfiction. Gutkind is also the editor of In Fact and Becoming a Doctor, the author of Almost Human, and has written books about baseball, health care, travel, and technology. A Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Tempe, Arizona.
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