Posts Tagged: nonfiction

Suki Kim author image - photo credit Ed Kashi-VII

The Rumpus Interview with Suki Kim

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Suki Kim discusses her new memoir, Without You, There Is No Us, going undercover for research, growing up as an immigrant to the U.S., and spending six months trapped in North Korea.

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Biss, Eula

The Big Idea #10: Eula Biss

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On Immunity author Eula Biss speaks to Suzanne Koven about mythology, personal freedom, and the history of vaccines.

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Creativity Is Messy

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Technically perfect writing is important when it comes to journalism or nonfiction, and especially helpful when writing with short deadlines. Fiction writing is different though. Nicole Bernier, over at Beyond the Margins, explains why grammatically sloppy writing might be the product of greater creativity:

Sometimes when creative writers say they don’t notice their own typos, it has a whiff of, well, humblebraggery.

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Crashing on Ice

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The sound you hear when you put ice cubes into warm (but not hot) water—that subtle but quick crackling—is the sound all around you in the summer fjords near glaciers. There is ice everywhere in the water, the size of your fist and the size of small islands, and because the water is only a few degrees above freezing, the ice cracks slowly, abundantly.

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by Amber Davis Touralentes

The Rumpus Interview with Alysia Abbott

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Alysia Abbott discusses craft and love in her new memoir, Fairyland, set in the ’70s and ’80s during the AIDS crisis in San Francisco.

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Slouching Toward Didion

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The Daily Beast takes a look at the history of the female essayist from Didion to Dunham:

From cultural critic Susan Sontag and journalist-turned-screenwriter-turned-novelist (and Dunham’s mentor) Nora Ephron, and on through to the host of talented female essayists writing today, this is clearly a flourishing genre that the following women writers—in my mind some of the best writing today—are very much making their own; as Carol Hanisch famously declared in 1969, the personal is political; if, that is, one’s personal experience is mined eloquently and intelligently enough.

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Chomsky For You

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Intellectual all-star and modern day renaissance man Noam Chomsky has finally released a “Best Of” anthology, to the elation of liberal arts students nationwide. At The Daily Beast, David Masciotra makes the case for Chomsky’s continuing relevance:

Regardless of how one wrestles with Noam Chomsky, one does always wrestle, leaving the bout much smarter and stronger.

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No Time To Be Neurotic

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The Believer has just published what is likely writer Peter Matthiessen’s last interview, conducted only a month before his death. Included: Jaws, the sticker that Kurt Vonnegut left on Matthiessen’s car, and why Matthiessen didn’t like to write about New York:

I also very rarely write about cities or urban people—especially urban people of our own region.

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Fiction or Non fiction: That is the question

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Is it true that nowadays nonfiction is more relevant than fiction?

Pankaj Mishra and Rivka Galchen answer the question and both their answers are dissimilar.

Mishra answers, “Even writers working within the old verities of stability and coherence — we cannot do without some of them — continue to produce persuasive fictions.”

Galchen observes, “Fiction and nonfiction do tend to deploy different methods for getting to the truth.

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“Every Narrative Voice Is a Fiction”

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Some years ago I attended a [Margaret Atwood] reading….She introduced the story she read by saying that it was not autobiographical. Then she read her story about a woman who weighed somewhere in the vicinity of 300 pounds. When she was done, and the Q&A started, the first question was: “Miss Atwood, how did you lose all that weight?”

The Los Angeles Review of Books has a fascinating interview with several writers, including our very own David Biespiel, about the wriggly nature of truth in writing of any genre, whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir—anything.

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The Untidy World

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“In truth, memory’s great betrayal, that it will not lie intact in wait for us, is lament enough to revisit in every generation. This is what I go to nonfiction for, the way we pick at the scab, poke our finger in the wound of memory’s fickle and existential transience, and the inconvenience of our desire to make things whole and right.”

At Brevity, Liz Stephens reflects on fact and nonfiction, articulating her loss of trust in John D’Agata’s narrative nonfiction, which she examines by way of a contrast to David Shields’ Reality Hunger, and none other than Cheryl Strayed’s “The Love of My Life.”

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On Why We Need Some Critics Like Bolaño

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Roberto Bolaño’s Between Parentheses puts the author’s critical and nonfiction prowess on display. It’s a collection of essays and writing from his newspaper column (which was titled Between Parentheses), compiled after the publication of The Savage Detectives. Most of the pieces revolve around the topics of poetry and fiction.

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Here Я Some Essays I Like

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Every so often, I post links to a bunch of very short essays that only take a second to read but that made my day better. Hopefully, they’ll make your’s better too.

“Last night, I had a little power at my house as the darkness settled over us all.  I sent out pulses into space.  My students, scattered by the storm, still clutched that rapidly diminishing charge in their hands.  Their phones retained some spark.  They echoed back.” At Brevity, “Some Space” by Michael Martone (part of a special edition about the tornado in Tuscaloosa).

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Jim Shepard on Writing Fiction That’s Got Some Truth to It

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“The first worry writers have when they consider working with something like historical events has to do with the issue of authority:  as in, where do I get off writing about that?    Well, here’s the good and the bad news:  where do you get off writing about anything?   Where do you get off writing about someone of a different gender?    A different person?   Where do you get off writing about yourself, from twenty years ago?

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Glenn Beck is the New John Updike

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“For the past nine months, ever since a certain somebody seized the White House, conservative pundits have dominated the ranks of nonfiction. …

It would be easy enough, and rather predictable, to lament this state of affairs and to find in it evidence of an anemic literary culture, a dangerously aggrieved minority, or at the very least the diabolical efficacy of bulk sales.

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