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Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: An Anthology

Author(s): Debra Monroe

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2020

Pages: 488

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Existing creative nonfiction anthologies don’t reflect the current cultural landscape. This anthology, featuring essays in forms both traditional and innovative, showcases the genre today—not how it was fifteen years ago when creative nonfiction seemed to include only memoir.

Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: An Anthology reveals how quickly the genre  evolved into exciting subgenres. With essays by established and emerging writers, it mirrors the rich panoply of the current American experience.

Edited by creative writing professor and acclaimed author Debra Monroe, Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: An Anthology:

  • is demographically inclusive! It features writers from diverse racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • is aesthetically varied! It includes the traditional essay but also the lyric essay, the experimental essay, the essay as cultural analysis, and the researched essay.
  • teaches history, theory, and craft! The introductory chapter is widely researched yet concise, comprising history, theory, and craft principles—a careful synthesis of many teaching resources in a single chapter.
  • is interactive! Each selection includes introductory headnotes providing biographical information about the writer and pointing at one or two unique formal or thematic features, followed by writing prompts designed to move writers past fear of the blank page.
  • is easy to adopt! Instructors receive a one-of-a-kind manual that’s thorough and insightful—reflecting the editor’s years of teaching experience—to help them design dynamic syllabuses.

  1. The Woman who Loved Water” by Kathleen J. Alcalá
  2.  “You Owe Me” by Miah Arnold  
  3. "The Things I've Lost" by Brian Arundel
  4. Cousins” by Jo Ann Beard 
  5.  “Time and Distance Overcome” by Eula Biss 
  6. "Mr. and Mrs. B" by Alexander Chee 
  7. The Ana Files” by Bonnie Ilza Cisneros 
  8.  “A House of My Own” by Sandra Cisneros
  9. Something from Nothing" by Bernard Cooper 
  10. The Joni Mitchell Problem" by Meghan Daum 
  11.  “Goddesses” by Sayantani Dasgupta 
  12. Arrythmia” by Dawn S. Davies
  13.  “A Body of Athletics” by Natalie Diaz 
  14. Yes” by Brian Doyle 
  15.  “A Good Hike” by Camille T. Dungy
  16. "The Performance of Drowning" by Terry Galloway
  17. Some Thoughts on Mercy” by Ross Gay 
  18.  “To Scratch, Claw, or Grope Clumsily or Frantically” by Roxane Gay 
  19. In the Kitchen” by Henry Louis Gates Jr. 
  20.  “Victoria” by Dagoberto Gilb 
  21.  “Kafka and Me” by Emily Fox Gordon
  22.  “We Transit” by John Griswold 
  23. Other People’s Secrets” by Patricia Hampl 
  24. The Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamison 
  25. "This Is East Tennessee Punk Rock" by Megan Kerns 
  26. The Worst of White Folks,” by Kiese Laymon 
  27.  “Nota Bene: On The Bodies of Poor Boys” by Sonja Livingston 
  28. The Lake of Suffering” by Phillip Lopate   
  29.  “Manifesto à velo” by Valeria Luiselli 
  30. "Basha Leah" by Brenda Miller
  31. "If Mr. Clean Had Been My Father" by Dinty W. Moore 
  32.  “The Disciples of Memory” by Aimee Phan 
  33. Now We Are Five” by David Sedaris 
  34. The Thing About Life is that One Day You’ll be Dead” by David Shields 
  35.  “Ratio” by Sandra Sidi
  36. "Dead Man Laughing" by Zadie Smith
  37.  “Laundry” by Maureen Stanton  
  38. "Byron Glacier" by David Stevenson
  39. "Into the Country" by Ira Sukrungruang​
  40.  “Fathers in the Mirror” by Virgil Suárez  
  41. "Fountain Girls" by Samantha Tucker
  42. Sanctuary” by Luis Alberto Urrea 
  43.  “Cherry Bars” by Ryan Van Meter
  44.  “Light Calling to Other Light" by Robert Vivian          
  45.  “Trilogy” by Julie Marie Wade 
  46. An Unkindness of Ravens” by Nicole Walker
  47. A Ticket to the Fair” by David Foster Wallace
  48.  “Ronald Wayne Lizana” by Jesmyn Ward

Debra Monroe

Debra Monroe is the author of four books of fiction and two award-winning books of creative nonfiction, On the Outskirts of Normal and My Unsentimental Education. Her essays have appeared in many venues, including the New York Times, Longreads, The American Scholar, The Southern Review, Rumpus, Salon, and are regularly cited as “Notable” in Best American Essays. Influential craft interviews with her have appeared in AWP’s Writer’s Chronicle and in Glimmer Train. The recipient of several teaching awards including The Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, she teaches in the MFA Program at Texas State University where she has mentored many students toward distinguished writing careers.

As director of the Wilkes University Creative Writing Program, I asked the creative nonfiction faculty to order an anthology with more diversity for our "Foundations" course.  Our team researched CNF anthologies and discovered that Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: An Anthology is far and away the best of the new anthologies. It's a wonderful book!.
Dr. David Hicks
Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing 
Wilkes University
  

With the inclusion of younger, contemporary writers of color such as Kiese Laymon, Roxane Gay, and Natalie Diaz (to name only a few) makes this standout versus other anthologies. Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: An Anthology is a welcome new addition to the field!
Dinty W. Moore, Professor and Director of Creative Writing
Ohio University

Related ISBN's: 9781524980092, 9781792413438

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