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For centuries writers have used participatory experience as a lens through which to better see the world at large and as a means of exploring the self. Considering various types of participatory writing as different strains of one style—immersion writing—Robin Hemley offers new perspectives and practical advice for writers of this nonfiction genre.
Immersion writing can be broken down into the broad categories of travel writing, immersion memoir, and immersion journalism. Using the work of such authors as Barbara Ehrenreich, Hunter S. Thompson, Ted Conover, A. J. Jacobs, Nellie Bly, Julio Cortazar, and James Agee, Hemley examines these three major types of immersion writing and further identifies the subcategories of the quest, the experiment, the investigation, the infiltration, and the reenactment. Included in the book are helpful exercises, models for immersion writing, and a chapter on one of the most fraught subjects for nonfiction writers—the ethics and legalities of writing about other people.
A Field Guide for Immersion Writing recalibrates and redefines the way writers approach their relationship to their subjects. Suitable for beginners and advanced writers, the book provides an enlightening, provocative, and often amusing look at the ways in which nonfiction writers engage with the world around them.
A Friends Fund Publication.
|Publisher:||University of Georgia Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Robin Hemley is a professor of English at the University of Iowa and director of the Nonfiction Writing Program. He is author or editor of eight books including Do-Over! and Turning Life into Fiction and is editor of the magazine Defunct.
Table of Contents
An Introduction to Immersion Writing:
Its Similarities and Diff erences from the Traditional
Memoir and Traditional Journalism 1
In Defense of the Vertical Pronoun 1
Forms of Immersion 8
Chapter One: Immersion Memoir 11
The Reenactment 20
The Experiment 26
The Infi ltration 34
The Investigation 42
The Quest 50
Chapter Two: Immersion Journalism 55
The Investigation 65
The Reenactment 72
The Quest 76
The Experiment 79
The Infi ltration 83
Travel Writing 95
The Infi ltration 105
The Quest 117
The Reenactment 125
The Investigation or Forensic Journey 132
The Experiment 139
Chapter Four: Ethical and Legal Considerations 146
Writing about Family and Friends 158
Writing about Others 160
Chapter Five: Legwork 168
The Proposal 168
Magazine Proposals 178
A Few Words on the Interview 179
The Proposal Reconsidered 181
Say What You See 185
For Further Reading 189