The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 3

The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 3

by Lee Gutkind (Editor)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393330250
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/01/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction and a pioneer in the field of narrative nonfiction. Gutkind is also the editor of In Fact and Becoming a Doctor, the author of Almost Human, and has written books about baseball, health care, travel, and technology. A Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Tempe, Arizona.

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The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 3 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
debnance on LibraryThing 22 days ago
The key word is ¿creative¿ here. I¿d love to pass on a few of these pieces to those who find nonfiction to be boring. No boring here. The styles are all over the place, from authors who appear to sit down quietly at their desks to those authors who seem to be scribbling on bathroom walls.
khuggard on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Here's the thing with creative nonfiction. Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it. Some authors have a way of manipulating words and structure in such a way that I find new meaning in an old idea. Others seem like they're just trying too hard and I end up getting annoyed. So, I didn't expect to love every single piece in this book. And I was right. But on the balance, I liked more pieces than I didn't. In fact there were very few that I just couldn't get through. Well worth reading and I eagerly look forward to reading other volumes in the series.
Stbalbach on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I'm a bit disappointed in this issue of Best Creative Nonfiction. Although it has 25 essays, it's only 235 pages long, is Norton cutting costs by reducing page count? It looks wispy on the shelf next to last years whale-like Vol.2 and whispers forebodings about the series future. Reinforcing it's dark mood, there are only a handful of essays that stand out as being good enough to mark as favorites. Part of the problem, I believe, is the selection committee which appears to be dominated by academic women. Almost every essay falls into two camps: the minority identity politics essay (handicap, women, black, gay, etc..) or the dysfunctional family history essay (characterized by a woman retelling a story about their grandfather, mother, uncle, etc..). So we have "good for you" politics mixed with "feel good" sentiment. I think Gutkind should try for a more varied selection process or editorial staff. One suggestion is each issue have a Guest Editor that makes the selection from a sub-set chosen by the permanent editors, similar to the "Best American" series.My four favorite essays were by Emily Rapp in "Okahandja Lessons" about a handicap woman who travels to Africa and learns handicapped people are looked on differently there than in America. In "The Face of Seung-Hui Cho", Wesley Yang writes probably the strongest essay of the book, about the 2007 shootings at Virgina Tech and how it feels to be a young Asian man in America. It has shades of Oscar Wao. Alice Dreger in "Lavish Dwarf Entertainment" gives a funny and enlightening romp through the world of dwarf entertainers. In the most dramatic piece, Gregory Orr in "Return to Hayneville" recounts his experience of being kidnapped and almost killed in Alabama during the 1960s as a Civil Rights protestor. This is a great piece because it's a reminder that many young white people died in the South during that period.
eme221 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I haven't read many collections of creative nonfiction, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the genre. In fact, some of the most engrossing short stories I've ever read were works of creative nonfiction. So I was very happy to receive this book, and even more pleased when I finished it. The only things I found that really ever pulled me out of the reading were the little introductions some of the stories had. I would much prefer being able to dive right into a piece than be presented first with a background explanation of the work and its author. And generally, when the introductions included quotes from the author, their words seemed too academic, too pompous and high-minded in their praise of the genre and the work involved in writing it. Just give me the story, and it will speak for itself.TBCN V3 is a superb collection of writing. The pieces span many decades, styles, subjects, and emotions, but almost all of them are so well done you can't help getting sucked in to the narrative in each of them. There are some that aren't as strong, but they are few and far between. One brought me to tears, another kept me thinking long after it was over, and quite a few made me laugh out loud. Some are funny, some are reflective, some are insightful, and some are very difficult to read. But they are all worthwhile.
dbytwerk on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I got this book through the Early Reviewer program.I didn't know what to expect from creative non-fiction going into this book. The pieces vary pretty widely in style and content but generally were some sort of first person essay or memoir. The collection started strong with a piece on prison food that I found interesting. Most of them were not to my taste, though I don't have technical complaints.
biblioholic29 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
When I first saw this book up for grabs in LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program, I thought long and hard before I requested it. I certainly enjoy nonfiction, and creative nonfiction sounded very interesting, but I've struggled with essay compilations in the past and worried that this might end up being the same thing. In the end, I decided to risk it and I'm very glad I did.The Best Creative Nonfiction (3) is full of interesting experiments in writing, both through technique and through subject matter. Some pieces, like "Return to Hayneville" and "What Come's Out" are relatively simple in style but their subjects are simultaneously uncomfortable and wonderful. Other pieces, like "Life in Figures" and "Community College" are stylistically innovative while the subject matter is a bit more commonplace. I was never bored while reading and found myself in tears more that once. ("Open Letter" was absolutely heartbreaking). More than anything else though, this book showed me that my writing interests are shared by others. I've always thought of myself as a nonfiction writer, better at reports and research papers than stories or plays, but yearned for the outlet of creative writing. Suddenly I've been shown the way to this. It has inspired me to realize that all those semi-autobiographical, barely started novels I've struggled with through my life may be able to find new life in fully autobiographical creative nonfiction. My guess is that's exactly what the editor of these volumes is hoping for.
gcorrell on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I post on Open Salon, the source of one of the selections in this superb collection. Most of the pieces here are similar to the best of OS: personal, original, well-crafted, and first-person. I also comment extensively on OS, supporting my fellow writers for every good and true thing they offer.So it is important for me to distinguish this book. While I am a "supportive" fellow writer -- I ignore grammar, syntax, and care far more for Voice and authenticity -- I take a different position when reviewing books. If published, work(s) should be polished to a fare-thee-well, and when collected they must be brilliant choices.This is all of that and more. I am simply astonished at the quality of writing in BCNF v.3. So much so that I will return here to write brief reviews of nearly every piece. I am too busy reading this for enjoyment to parse things for others.There is a special place we reach as writers, even if our own prose is not-quite-there, or limited in scope or imagination, or even if we are simply, forever, pedestrian talents. The special place is: we know the real thing when we read it. Anguish, rapture, raw pain, high comedy, keen and unadorned by excess artfulness, that flows from a writer who has hit a groove, who has Something to say, is unmistakable. This collection is a testament to the editors and their rare skills, and to each of the essentially undiscovered writers who pour their guts out. You will love the peculiar, fascinating and amazing stories they share. I must stop and re-group. I will sound too effusive. And this collection deserves my sharp focus, so you will see why each piece shines. This isn't just great: it's a new kind of great. Deeply personal, independent stylists, who break away from the few, narrow categories of what is Good Essay or Nice Story. This book soars.More soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago