The past and the truth are slippery things, and the art of nonfiction writing requires the writer to shape as well as explore. In personal essays, meditations on the nature of memory, considerations of the genres of memoir, prose poetry, essay, fiction, and film, this work attempts to find answers to the question of what truth in nonfiction means.
Even before the controversy that surrounded the publication of ""A Million Little Pieces"", the question of truth has been at the heart of memoir. From Elie Wiesel to Benjamin Wilkomirski to David Sedaris, the veracity of writers' claims has been suspect. In this fascinating and timely collection of essays, leading writers meditate on the subject of truth in literary nonfiction. As David Lazar writes in his introduction, ""How do we verify? Do we care to? (Do we dare to eat the apple of knowledge and say it's true? Or is it a peach?) Do we choose to? Is it a subcategory of faith? How do you respond when someone says, 'This is really true'? Why do they choose to say it then?""The past and the truth are slippery things, and the art of nonfiction writing requires the writer to shape as well as explore. In personal essays, meditations on the nature of memory, considerations of the genres of memoir, prose poetry, essay, fiction, and film, the contributors to this provocative collection attempt to find answers to the question of what truth in nonfiction means.
At last, as engrossing and intellectually sophisticated and varied a discussion of these sticky topical issues as one could ever hope to find. What makes the book even better is that so many of these pieces are stunning essays in their own right. - Phillip Lopate, author, Getting Personal: Selected Writings
About David Lazar
David Lazar is the director of the nonfiction writing program at Columbia College Chicago, a professor in the Department of English, and the editor of Hotel Amerika. He is the author of The Body of Brooklyn (IOWA, 2003), Michael Powell: Interviews, Conversations with M. F. K. Fisher, and a book of prose poems, Powder Town. Four of his essays have been named Notable Essays of the Year by Best American Essays.
Truth in Nonfiction: Essays by David Lazar
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University of Iowa Press
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