Posts Tagged: nonfiction

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The Rumpus Interview with Chanan Tigay

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Author Chanan Tigay discusses the complicated man at the heart of The Lost Book of Moses, the anxieties of writing true stories, how much to withhold from your reader—and tells a few jokes about creative nonfiction. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Bernadette Murphy

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Bernadette Murphy on her forthcoming book, Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life, the challenges of selling a memoir, and life beyond "the suburban-wife-mother picture." ...more

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The Rumpus Interview With Brenda Miller

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Author Brenda Miller discusses the lyric essay, her "poet self" who always bleeds through, and what she's writing about next. ...more

Long-Distance Writing

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Over at The Collapsar, Brian Oliu pens a stunning essay on writing, running, and changing one’s perception of both the body and the prose:

This, to me, is what a successful essay does: it confesses before the writer is ready–instead of looking back upon a moment in one’s life and trying to compartmentalize it into a narrative, it is very fluid and of that moment–I am going to talk about these things that I am not an expert on in hopes that I come to a greater understanding about myself & the world that surrounds me.

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The Rumpus Interview with Debbie Moderow

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Debbie Moderow talks about her new memoir, Fast Into the Night: A Woman, her Dogs, and their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail, the realities of dog sled racing, and climate change. ...more

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(K)ink #7: Writing While Deviant: Brian Kornell

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The more secrets I wrote about, the fewer I wanted to keep. And the more secrets I made public through my writing, the more I gained. ...more

Fact or Fiction?

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For the Guardian, Richard Lea investigates the distinction between fiction and nonfiction writing, a distinction that exists most firmly in anglophone cultures and literature. Lea interviews several writers who work with texts in other languages, either as bilingual authors or translators, in order to find whether separating stories according to their factual content offers any benefit.

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Eating at the Table of Another

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The critic giveth and he taketh away. In his review of Better Living Through Criticism, Jonathon Sturgeon counters A.O. Scott’s aversion to the idea of the critic as parasite:

Maybe the loneliness of the American critic stems from his obsession with freeing minds, which quickly become isolated monads.

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The Way We Were

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Things in my own life that make me want to write about them are often things that are unresolved. And I use writing to figure them out.

Memoirists Meredith Maran, Dani Shapiro, Ayelet Waldman, Kate Christensen, and Nick Flynn speak in a YouTube video about why they write about their own lives, and the best/worst things that happened to them as a result of writing a memoir.

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Making History Discoverable

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Backlist is a new service meant to connect readers and students to curated lists of history books put together by scholars. The site’s founders solicit book lists and recommendations from scholars and historians, with a goal of exposing people to books they may not have heard of otherwise:

It’s like going into the office of your favorite history professor.

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The Middle East in Writing

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Increasingly, a writer needs an access point, a micro-focus, a close-up lens—even a gimmick: one small story through which larger historical truths can be elucidated anew.

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, N.S. Morris writes about how journalism inform stories being written about the Middle East, exploring the various shapes nonfiction takes in the process of trying to understand something so expansive.

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The Rumpus Interview with Elisa Gabbert

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Author Elisa Gabbert talks about her books, The Self Unstable and The French Exit, diversity, publishing, whiteness, and writing in the Internet Age. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Janice Erlbaum

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Janice Erlbaum talks about her new novel, I, Liar, how writing memoir compares to writing fiction, homelessness in America, and Munchausen syndrome and Borderline Personality Disorder. ...more

Fact, Fiction, Other

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Geoff Dyer, author of numerous nonfiction titles, discusses the increasingly blurry border between fiction and nonfiction—and more importantly, whether that distinction matters—at the Guardian:

As the did-it-really-happen? issue gives way to questions of style and form, so we are brought back to the expectations engendered by certain forms: how we expect to read certain books, how we expect them to behave.

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The Rumpus Interview with Sandra and Ben Doller

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Sandra and Ben Doller talk about The Yesterday Project, a blind collaboration, and about what it means to savor each day when you have stage III melanoma. ...more

An End Has a Start

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At the Ploughshares blog, E. V. De Cleyre considers the many ways to find the right moment to end a nonfiction story:

The aftermath, Cusk writes, is “life with knowledge of what has gone before.” Writers are not seers. Armed with the “knowledge of what has gone before,” we mold events, truths, into narrative, and hope and know that the last punctuation mark is not the end, but the invitation to begin again.

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The Skeleton of a Story

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Over at Brevity’s nonfiction blog, author Janice Gary talks about how to structure a nonfiction story:

Fiction writers start with nothing and create a world. Memoirists start with an entire universe that already exists. We are more like sculptors than painters, relying on the advice of Michelangelo, who supposedly said he made the statue of David by taking away everything in the stone that was not David.

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The Rumpus Interview with Matt Bell

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Author Matt Bell talks video games, fiction, nonfiction, politics, empathy, and his new books, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Scrapper. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Margo Jefferson

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Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Margo Jefferson talks about her new memoir, Negroland, and about growing up in an elite black community in the segregated Chicago of the 1950s and 1960s. ...more