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Writing Creative Non-Fiction: Determining the Form

Writers of creative non-fiction are often expected to be able to recreate reality, to deal with, or even access, a singular truth. But the author, like any human, is not an automaton remotely tasked with capturing a life or an event.

Whether we tell stories and understand them as fiction or non-fiction, or whether we draw away from these classifications, writers craft and shape writing all writing. No experience exists on a flat plane, and recounting or interpreting events will always involve some element of artistic manipulation: every instance, exchange, discussion, event is open to multiple interpretations and can be described in many ways, all of which are potentially truthful.

Writing Creative Non-Fiction: Determining the Form contains essays and original writing from novelists, poets, songwriters, musicians and academics. The book covers topics that range from explorations of the role of the author, definitions and representations of the form, self and illness, to the spectral elements of non-fiction and its role in historical narratives. The essays included in this volume address everything from memoir, biography and autobiography to a discussion of musical approaches to criticism and a non/fiction interview.

The book identifies key writers including Christopher Isherwood, David Shields, James Frey, ├ůsne Seierstad, John D'Agata, W. G. Sebald, Jonathan Coe, Hilary Mantel, James Kelman, Liz Lochhead and Arthur Frank and is essential reading for students, researchers and writers of creative non-fiction.


Notes on Contributors; Pathways to Determining Form (Laura Tansley and Micaela Maftei); A Bulgarian Journey (Kapka Kassabova); At the Will of Our Stories (John I MacArtney); She and I: Composite Characters in Creative Non-Fiction (Katie Karnehm); More Lies Please: Biography and the Duty to Abandon Truth (Rodge Glass); Ghosts of the Real: The Spectral Memoir (Helen Pleasance); One doesn't have much but oneself: Christopher Isherwood's Investigation into Identity and the Manipulation of Form in The Memorial (Rebecca Gordon Stewart); Menna, Martha and Me: The Possibilities of Epistolary Criticism (Rhiannon Marks); An Introduction to Schizoanalysis: The Development of a Musical Approach to Criticism (Jo Collinson Scott); Eyes! Birds! Walnuts! Pennies! (Erin Soros); Just Words (Erin Soros); It is in their Nature to Change: On Mis-leading (Elizabeth Reeder); Index.