Over at the Los Angeles Times, Colin Dickey explores the idea of the contemporary American essay as a vehicle for truth. Citing essayists such as John D’Agata, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, and Maggie Nelson, Dickey writes:
How do you know a thing is true? How do you judge a fact, how do you sift through evidence, and how do you pronounce someone else wrong? The essay (or the essay-affect) at its best interrogates these questions of truth and verification, bringing the reader directly into the process of evaluating fact and fiction, and providing the reader with some kind of navigation for our current state in which truthfulness is such a fraught concept.