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The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 1by 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.'
"This anthology, an offshoot of the journal Creative Nonfiction, kicks off an annual series drawing together the best representatives of a fertile (if ill-defined) genre still struggling for recognition. In his introduction, Gutkind tries to clarify the subject, a seeming 'contradiction in terms,' but the pieces speak for themselves, blending precise research and astute observation with flavorful, fascinating narratives. Carol Smith, a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, contributes an account of 'The Cipher in Room 214,' a 1996 female suicide found in a downtown Seattle hotel who left behind no clues as to her identity; Eula Biss details powerfully her experience with chronic illness by riffing off the 0-10 scale on which her doctors ask her to rank her pain. Most pieces are first-person, memoir-style accounts-writers include a former stripper, a fatally ill man, a narcoleptic and a prosopagnosic (a woman who can't recognize faces)-but a smattering of profiles include an insightful Poets & Writers piece by Daniel Nester on notoriously over-creative nonfiction writer James Frey. Happily, Gutkind reaches several steps beyond the literary journal scene-blog excerpts turn up, and a piece on the secret language of hackers (or 'h4ck3rs') comes from John McPhee's Princeton University creative nonfiction class-to find a wide range of topics and styles; though some selections are stronger than others, the richness of the 'real' makes the anthology work as a cohesive whole." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Narrative nonfiction at its cutting-edge best from writers at the cusp of recognition and fame.
'\"Blending precise research and astute observation with flavorful, fascinating narratives.\"\'\"Publishers Weekly, starred review (for Vol. 1)\n
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 Mo»se"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 mustget arrested, Selma, Alabama, is the place to do it. This exciting and expansive array of works and voices is sure to impress and delight.
Gutkind and the staff of his landmark journal "Creative Nonfiction" have culled alternative publications, 'zines, blogs, literary journals, and other often overlooked publications in search of new voices and innovative ideas--essays and articles written with panache and power.
About the Author
'Lee Gutkindis the founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction. Writer-in-residence at Arizona State University, Gutkind is also the editor of In Factand the author of Almost Human.
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Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays