9780205586455

Crafting Truth

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780205586455

  • ISBN10:

    0205586457

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/21/2010
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Summary

Crafting Truthintroduces the reader to the craft of creative nonfiction by showing them models from the best nonfiction writers and offering plentiful exercises to help them more artfully tell true stories.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

___

Introduction 1

The Form and Theory of Creative Nonfiction 1

On Missing the Target 2

The Collapse of the Narrator 3

Telling It Straight 4

Taking the Reflective Turn 6

Building It Scene by Scene 7

Creating Tension 9

Casting a Wide Net 12

Writing With (and Against) Tradition 14

Using Crafting Truth 16

How to Read for Craft 16

___

Part 1

The Essayists 21

Introduction to the Personal Essay 21

A Brief History of the Essay 21

Essays as Narratives of Thought 22

New Forms of the Essay 24

1.1 ORDER OUT OF WILD DISORDER

EXC E R P T F RO M E . B. WHITE’ S

The Ring of Time 25

1.2 A FATHER’S FLAWS

EXC E R P T F RO M JA M E S BALDW I N ’ S

Notes of a Native Son 31

1.3 PRICKLY DREAD ON BANYAN STREET

EXC E R P T F RO M J OA N D I D I O N ’ S

Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream 36

1.4 YOU DID NOT CHANGE

EXC E R P T F RO M A L I C E WALKER’ S

Beauty:When the Other Dancer Is the Self 42

1.5 CUTTING IT STRAIGHT

EXC E R P T F ROM SCOT T RU S S E L L S A N D E R S ’ S

The Inheritance of Tools 48

1.6 THE BEGINNING AND END OF A MAN’S LIFE

EXC E R P T F ROM ANDRE DUBUS’ S

Broken Vessels 54

1.7 A GREAT MOMENT OF NEED

EXC E R P T F ROM NA N C Y M A I R S’ S

On Touching by Accident 59

1.8 VAMOOSE TO THE VOMIT CORNER

EXC E R P T F ROM DAV I D S E DA R I S ’ S

The SantaLand Diaries 64

1.9 A SCAFFOLD FOR LANGUAGE

EXC E R P T F ROM ANDER MONSON’S

Outline Toward a Theory of the Mine Versus the

Mind and the Harvard Outline 69

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Part 2

The Memoirists 75

Introduction to Memoir 75

Ethics in the Age of Memoir 76

Is There a Story Worth Telling? 77

2.1 I MADE HIM OUT OF DREAMS

EXC E R P T F ROM TO B I A S WO L F F ’ S

This Boy’s Life 79

2.2 LONG AGO WHEN DOGS COULD TALK

EXC E R P T F RO M N . SCOT T MOMADAY ’ S

The Way to Rainy Mountain 84

2.3 TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT DREAMS,

VISIONS, AND PRAYERS

EXC E R P T F ROM MAX I N E H O N G K I N G S TO N ’ S

The Woman Warrior 89

2.4 THE ACHE MADE PHYSICAL

EXC E R P T F RO M G R E T E L E H R L I C H ’ S

The Solace of Open Spaces 93

2.5 POWERFUL PRAYERS

EXC E R P T F ROM FRANK MCCOURT ’ S

Angela’s Ashes 97

2.6 SAFE IN THE CENTER

EXC E R P T F ROM MARY C L E A R M A N B L EW ’ S

All But the Waltz 101

2.7 A CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE EARTH

EXCERPT FROM TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS’S

Refuge 106

2.8 I COULD BE GOING OUT, SURE

EXC E R P T F ROM DAV E E G G E R S ’ S

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius 110

___

Part 3

The Literary Journalists 115

Introduction to Literary Journalism 115

New and Not New 115

Ethical Dramas 117

Building Blocks of Literary Journalism 118

3.1 THE SMELL OF SWEAT

EXC E R P T F RO M JA M E S AGEE’ S

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men 121

3.2 THE WHEELING OF HAWKS

EXC E R P T F ROM TRUMAN CAPOT E’ S

In Cold Blood 126

3.3 MAILER’S TOWER

EXC E R P T F ROM NORMAN MAILER’ S

The Armies of the Night 132

3.4 TOO FREAKING TRUE!

EXC E R P T F ROM TOM WO L F E’ S

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test 136

3.5 A FINE, SOLEMN SWAGGER

EXC E R P T F RO M JANE KRAMER’ S

The Last Cowboy 141

3.6 CLAUSTROPHOBIA

EXC E R P T F RO M E R I K L A R S O N ’ S

The Devil in the White City 146

3.7 A FOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU

EXC E R P T F RO M J O S E P H M I TCHELL’ S

Old Mr. Flood 152

3.8 A LIGHT TOUCH OF THE LIPS

EXC E R P T F RO M D I A N E ACKERMAN’S

A Natural History of the Senses 157

___

Part 4

A Brief Anthology 163

Introduction 163

S T U D E N T E S S A Y

4.1 ANDREA OYARZABAL

Math,Metamorphosis, and Monarchs 164

E S S A Y

4.2 LIA PURPURA

Autopsy Report 170

4.3 SARAH VOWELL

Thanks for the Memorex 176

M E M O I R

4.4 LAUREN SLATER

Lying 182

4.5 JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN

Brothers and Keepers 195

L I T E R A R Y J O U R N A L I S M

4.6 H. G. BISSINGER

Boobie 206

4.7 SUSAN ORLEAN

The American Man at Age Ten 210

 

Appendix: The Literary Landscape of Creative Nonfiction 221

Bibliography 229

Credits 231

Index 233

 

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