ABCs of Creative Nonfiction: The Beginning

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

ABCs of Creative Nonfiction (1)

I’ve decided that the eye of the creative nonfiction writer must be medically enigmatic. It’s at once so purely myopic that it can detect the smallest nuance—a person’s cuticle, the four-leaf clover in a vast field, the subtle upturn of the corner of lips—and so hyperopic it can monitor the infusion of masses into a train station or track the passage of time in footprints on a mother’s heart.

And somewhat in the spirit of an orchestra’s conductor or a painter, the creative nonfiction writer is able to make magic of the ordinary. Reading the work of a gifted author in the genre suddenly gives you the feeling of being swept into your closest friend’s dream. Notes meet rhythm to become symphonies. Something about the artful way in which such a writer paints the universe invokes a sense of empathy. Her stories make you feel all the more human, connected to yourself and to the world. She sweeps you up into something that once seemed as ordinary as walking across your living room floor, but now is laden with the meaning that builds in the hundreds of times you’ve walked across that floor while holding the hand of your child or laughing with your loved ones late into the night.

In this, our latest ABC series, writers who make art of the creative nonfiction genre share their insights into what seems like pure magic to me. Whether you’ve got your finger so attuned to the pulse of the world that you could sense the hiccup of a house cat or you’re so enamored with the genre that you just want to know more about how these artists find the world around them, this series is for you.

I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to all of our contributors to this project, and especially to Erin Ollila, who orchestrated the whole thing with grace. Thank you all for bringing light to this art form, for all our readers to see.




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