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The Art of Fact: Contemporary Artists of Nonfiction

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The artistry of nonfiction is the great unexplored territory of contemporary criticism. Although the American book clubs now emphasize nonfiction and The New York Times Book Review publishes almost three times as many reviews of nonfiction as fiction, critical appreciation of this work has lagged behind. The Art of Fact is the first comprehensive examination of five of tod The artistry of nonfiction is the great unexplored territory of contemporary criticism. Although the American book clubs now emphasize nonfiction and The New York Times Book Review publishes almost three times as many reviews of nonfiction as fiction, critical appreciation of this work has lagged behind. The Art of Fact is the first comprehensive examination of five of today's most popular and important nonfiction artists: Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, John McPhee, Joan Didion, and Norman Mailer. By discussing contemporary literary nonfiction in relation to the early prose narrative forms and to the news/novels of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the opening chapter defines the discourse known as literary or artistic nonfiction. Dr. Lounsberry then describes four characteristics of literary nonfiction and grounds these characteristics in contemporary works. The five chapters which follow this introduction thoroughly examine the works of five prominent, contemporary nonfiction artists. While critics to date have tended to focus on only one or two of each writer's works, these chapters trace themes across each writer's entire body of work and even project likely future directions, given current artistic trajectories. Also addressed is the role of literary nonfiction in the American literary tradition and how each of the five writers exemplifies a strand of nonfiction narrative. The Art of Fact draws from personal interviews with Gay Talese and John McPhee and includes new interpretations of the works of Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion and Norman Mailer as well as unpublished material from Gay Talese's current book-in-progress. The Art of Fact is a timely call for critical appreciation of the artistry of nonfiction and offers valuable insights to both students and fans of contemporary nonfiction.


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The artistry of nonfiction is the great unexplored territory of contemporary criticism. Although the American book clubs now emphasize nonfiction and The New York Times Book Review publishes almost three times as many reviews of nonfiction as fiction, critical appreciation of this work has lagged behind. The Art of Fact is the first comprehensive examination of five of tod The artistry of nonfiction is the great unexplored territory of contemporary criticism. Although the American book clubs now emphasize nonfiction and The New York Times Book Review publishes almost three times as many reviews of nonfiction as fiction, critical appreciation of this work has lagged behind. The Art of Fact is the first comprehensive examination of five of today's most popular and important nonfiction artists: Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, John McPhee, Joan Didion, and Norman Mailer. By discussing contemporary literary nonfiction in relation to the early prose narrative forms and to the news/novels of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the opening chapter defines the discourse known as literary or artistic nonfiction. Dr. Lounsberry then describes four characteristics of literary nonfiction and grounds these characteristics in contemporary works. The five chapters which follow this introduction thoroughly examine the works of five prominent, contemporary nonfiction artists. While critics to date have tended to focus on only one or two of each writer's works, these chapters trace themes across each writer's entire body of work and even project likely future directions, given current artistic trajectories. Also addressed is the role of literary nonfiction in the American literary tradition and how each of the five writers exemplifies a strand of nonfiction narrative. The Art of Fact draws from personal interviews with Gay Talese and John McPhee and includes new interpretations of the works of Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion and Norman Mailer as well as unpublished material from Gay Talese's current book-in-progress. The Art of Fact is a timely call for critical appreciation of the artistry of nonfiction and offers valuable insights to both students and fans of contemporary nonfiction.

33 review for The Art of Fact: Contemporary Artists of Nonfiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard Pace

    Did not finish, but liked what I read. Nice analysis of how selected authors write non-fiction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rally Jaffa

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Donald

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jes

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michele Davis

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gerald Prokop

  11. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Prashanth Durai

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  14. 5 out of 5

    P.J.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  18. 5 out of 5

    Niamh Gibbons

  19. 5 out of 5

    Todd Berger

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zhaokeran

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hui Zhu

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bill Yeagle

  24. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Stieffel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna J.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marybeth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mustafa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sean Norris

  31. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Murphy

  32. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ema Jones

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