Creative nonfiction, also known as narrative nonfiction, liberated journalism by inviting writers to dramatize, interpret, speculate, and even re-create their subjects. Lee Gutkind collects twenty-five essays that flourished in this new turf, all originally published in the groundbreaking journal he founded, Creative Nonfiction, now in its tenth anniversary year.
Many of the writers here are crossing genres-from poetry to fiction to nonfiction. Annie Dillard provides the introduction, while Gutkind discusses the creative and ethical parameters of this new genre. The selections themselves are broad and fascinating. Lauren Slater is a therapist in the institution where she was once a patient. John Edgar Wideman reacts passionately to the unjust murder of Emmett Till. Charles Simic contemplates raucous gatherings at his Uncle Boris's apartment, while John McPhee creates a rare, personal, album quilt of his own life. Terry Tempest Williams speaks on the decline of the prairie dog, and Madison Smartt Bell invades Haiti.
Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and a pioneer in the field of narrative nonfiction. Gutkind is also the editor of In Fact and Becoming a Doctor, the author of Almost Human, and has written books about baseball, health care, travel, and technology. A Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Tempe, Arizona. Annie Dillard is a short story writer, novelist, and poet. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. After living for five years in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives on the East Coast with her family.