True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of ‘Creative Nonfiction’ Magazine

Edited by Lee Gutkind and Hattie Fletcher. In Fact (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (340p) ISBN 978-1-937163-16-7
This aptly titled collection pulled from the archives of Creative Nonfiction magazine includes essays on subjects that range from the humorous—Sonya Huber learns to let go of hatred by meditating on an infant Dick Cheney in giraffe pajamas—to the painfully incisive, such as Toi Derricotte’s examination of the behaviors she learned from her abusive father. If the only common thread here is genre, the book raises the question: what is creative nonfiction? “Like pornography, you don’t need a definition,” jokes Susan Orlean in the introduction. Editor Gutkind contributes a history of the genre and recounts founding the magazine in the closing essay. The mission of the magazine and, by extension, this book, is to give readers the “core and fiber of the genre” and thereby define creative nonfiction by example. The contributors, including Caitlyn Horrocks, Carolyn Forché, and Harrison Scott Key, and others, effectively create narrative intimacy. Moments of vulnerability will hit home with readers and bind these disparate essays into an emotionally coherent whole. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/30/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-937163-17-4
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