Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LU MFA Foundations: Defining Creative Nonfiction--Catherine Rankovic

What is Creative Nonfiction?

"Nonfiction stories that read like fiction so that readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy. The word 'creative' refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ, such as description, dialogue, and suspense, to present factually accurate prose about real people and events—described in a compelling, vivid, dramatic way."

Creative nonfiction is sometimes also called "literary nonfiction" or "the literature of witness." The genre includes autobiography, memoir, history, biography, essays, nature writing, travel writing, true adventure, true crime, and pop-culture reviews and analysis.

Recommended Creative Nonfiction Books:
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
Lee Gutkind, The Best of Creative Nonfiction (anthology)
Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit
Bell Hooks, Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood
John Krakauer, Into the Wild
Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
George Orwell, A Collection of Essays
Scott Russell Sanders, A Private History of Awe
Patti Smith, Just Kids
Tobias Wolff, This Boy's Life
—Catherine Rankovic

In the LU MFA Foundations series, our faculty members 
discuss or clarify foundational elements of the craft of creative writing.
Other entries in the series are linked here.

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