The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 2

The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 2

by Lee Gutkind

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"Blending precise research and astute observation with flavorful, fascinating narratives."—Publishers Weekly, starred review (for Vol. 1)See more details below


"Blending precise research and astute observation with flavorful, fascinating narratives."—Publishers Weekly, starred review (for Vol. 1)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

In his follow-up to last year's volume, the first in a re-launched, annual version of his journal Creative Nonfiction, Gutkind gathers another fresh collection of exemplary essays from a wide range of authors and sources, tackling everything from multiracial love and familial exile to the connection between memory and digital photo manipulation. Relatable situations and eccentric writers keep the stories intelligent but accessible, and often poignant; especially resonant is Gwendolyn Knapp's attempt to rehabilitate her mom's terminal case of pack-rat fever. Sarah Miller-Davenport provides some levity in a piece on guilty (and expensive) pleasures called "Here I Am in Bergdorf Goodman." Many accounts run up the old stranger-than-fiction flag, most notably Sewell Matter's piece regarding her discovery, on an Icelandic beach, of a page torn from a book; captivated by the "amazingly, almost unbelievably, bad" excerpt, she sets off on a global search for the complete novel. Proving again his chops as an anthologist, Gutkind's latest collection-which also includes Heidi Julavits, Pagan Kennedy, William deBuys and the guy behind a 30-run homer, a whirlwind of moods and thoughts captured by some of the biggest talents on the essay and blog beat.
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Library Journal

Drawn primarily from lesser-known publications and blogs, the 28 pieces in this collection together reflect an attempt to introduce writers outside the mainstream, new voices on the literary scene. In his introduction, Gutkind, founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction , writes that the pieces "demonstrate the versatility and strength of this genre we call creative nonfiction." Highlights include Laura Sewell Matter's "Pursuing the Great Bad Novelist," in which she tracks down the author of some pages found on the beach in Iceland, and Pagan Kennedy's portrait of Alex Comfort, "The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex." On the other hand, there is Donovan Hohn's "Moby-Duck," about plastic toys gone astray in the ocean, which starts interestingly enough but goes on interminably, and Stefan Fatsis's "My Glove," about the writer's baseball mitt, which did not hold this reviewer's attention, even as a baseball fan. There is certainly a lot of variety here, but the selections included don't reflect this reviewer's idea of "the best." A better selection of creative nonfiction can be found in The Best American Magazine Writing 2007 .-Gina Kaiser, Univ. of the Sciences Lib., Philadelphia

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Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Best Creative Nonfiction Series
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Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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