Bending Genre Essays on Creative Nonfiction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-03-14
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Ever since the term "creative nonfiction" first came into widespread use, memoirists and journalists, essayists and fiction writers have faced off over where the border between fact and fiction lies. This debate over ethics, however, has sidelined important questions of literary form. Bending Genre does not ask where the boundaries between genres should be drawn, but what happens when you push the line. Written for writers and students of creative writing, this collection brings together perspectives from today's leading writers of creative nonfiction, including Michael Martone, Brenda Miller, Ander Monson, and David Shields. Each writer's innovative essay probes our notions of genre and investigates how creative nonfiction is shaped, modeling the forms of writing being discussed. Like creative nonfiction itself, Bending Genre is an exciting hybrid that breaks new ground.

Author Biography

Margot Singer is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She also teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., USA. She is the author of a collection of stories, The Pale of Settlement (University of Georgia Press, 2007), winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, and the Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, the Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Prose and the Thomas Carter Prize for the Essay. Nicole Walker received her PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Utah and currently teaches at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, USA. Her nonfiction book, Quench Your Thirst With Salt, won the 2011 Zone 3 nonfiction prize and will be published next year. She is also the author of a collection of poems, This Noisy Egg (Barrow Street, 2010). Her work has appeared in the journals Fence, the Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, Shenandoah, New American Writing, the Seneca Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She has been granted a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.

Table of Contents

Introduction I. HybridsDavid Lazar, “Queering the Essay” Lia Purpura, “Why Some Hybrids Work and Others Don’t” Lawrence Sutin, “Don’t Let Those Damn Genres Cross You Ever Again!” Kazim Ali, “Genre-Queer”Jenny Boully, “On the EEO Genre Sheet” T. Fleischmann, “Ill-Fit the World” Michael Martone, “Hermes Goes to College” Karen Brennan, “Headiness”Mary Cappello, “Propositions; Provocations: Inventions”II. StructuresMargot Singer, “On Scaffolding, Hermit Crabs, and the Real False Document” Ander Monson, “Text Adventure” Kevin Haworth, “Adventures in the Reference Section”Barrie Jean Borich, “Autogeographies” Brenda Miller, “‘Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!’: Courage and Creative Nonfiction” David McGlynn, “Traumatized Time” Lee Martin, “Split Tone” Nicole Walker, “My Mistake” Wayne Koestenbaum, “Play-Doh Fun Factory Poetics”III. UnconventionsMargot Singer, “On Convention” David Shields, “42 Tattoos”David Madden, “Creative Exposition: Another Way that Nonfiction Writing Can Be Good” Michael Martone, “Ostrakons at Amphipolis, Postcards from Chicago: Thucydides and the Invention and Deployment of Lyric History” Steven Fellner, “On Fragmentation”Dinty Moore, “Positively Negative” Robin Hemley, “Study Questions for the Essay at Hand: A Speculative Essay”Eula Biss, “It Is What It Is” Nicole Walker, “The Inclusiveness of Metaphor” BibliographyContributors

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