The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 1
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Narrative nonfiction at its cutting-edge best from writers at the cusp of recognition and fame.
Lee Gutkind, proclaimed the "Godfather behind creative nonfiction" by Vanity Fair, along with the staff of his landmark journal Creative Nonfiction, has culled alternative publications, 'zines, blogs, podcasts, literary journals, and other often overlooked publications in search of new voices and innovative ideas―essays and articles written with panache and power."The Truth About Cops and Dogs," by Rebecca Skloot, describes a vicious pack of wild dogs, preying on the domesticated pets of Manhattan. Monica Wojcik's "The w00t Files," for the chic geek crowd, comes directly from John McPhee's famous Literature of Fact workshop at Princeton, a launching pad for famous young writers. Daniel Nestor, of McSweeney's and Bookslut, explains James Frey, while the very overweight Michael Rosenwald becomes a Popular Science nearly nude centerfold in a quest for knowledge about high-tech diagnostics.
was no market for the kind of literary, long-form, often experimental nonfiction that appears in this collection, and most of what you will read here would likely not have been written. The journal helped legitimize the genre and encouraged writers who work in it. As you will see, this collection supports writers whom most large commercial publishers and magazines don’t—writers who are experimenting with form and language, writers who do not receive million-dollar contracts or outlandish
turn sixty within the year, Chris is in his early forties, Brian in his midtwenties. As we leave town in my rented, economy-size Hyundai, pulling onto the interstate in the late-afternoon drizzle, Brian asks where we’re headed. For several days, I’ve felt a quiet tension about this trip, and suddenly it seems I can release some of the tension by telling Brian and Chris the story of that long-ago summer. At first, I try to talk about what happened to me in Hayneville itself, but I quickly see that
entered the fairgrounds, the gate swung shut behind it, and police turned back anyone else who tried to enter. The truck I was on stopped, backed up, then came to a final halt. When the doors opened and our eyes adjusted to the flood of light, we saw we weren’t at the jail at all—but in a narrow alley between two barns. A score of uniformed officers was gathered there, wearing the uniforms of motorcycle cops—tall leather boots, mirrored sunglasses, and blue helmets with the black earflaps pulled
numbers and even wore name tags. Later that morning, a plainclothes officer entered our barn and announced that the FBI had arrived and that if anyone had complaints about their treatment, they should step forward to be interviewed. I did so and was ushered out into the same alley where we’d first been greeted and beaten. The narrow lane had been rigged at one end with an awning for shade. Under the awning, four FBI agents sat at small desks. When my turn came, I told my narrative about the
mother said. “And I will spend the rest of my life trying to forgive him. But once, when he was going through a long sober stretch, he was watering the yard with his thumb over a hose, and I told him that I’d learned this line from Shakespeare: ‘And jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.’ He repeated it. He didn’t know what it meant, but he loved it. He had that capacity for appreciation.” DESPITE HER CIRCUMSTANCES, my grandmother insists that her childhood was happy. Like the