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English 1520: Creative Nonfiction

Defining Creative Nonfiction

"The words 'creative' and 'nonfiction' describe the form. The word 'creative' refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ to present nonfiction—factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. The goal is to make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that your readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy." Lee Gutkind. What is Creative Nonfiction?

See also: literary nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, literary journalism, new journalism, nonfiction novel, biography, autobiography, diary, memoir, diary, travel writing, food writing, chronicle, personal essay, reportage literature.

For quick definitions and overviews, see:
Oxford Reference Online
Literature Online - Reference
Gale Virtual Reference Library

Finding Creative Nonfiction

Examples of creative nonfiction are everywhere, yet can be difficult to pinpoint in a database or library catalog. It can be difficult to separate examples of this genre from criticism or writing about the genre.

Writing about Creative Nonfiction

Writing about creative nonfiction and criticism of specific authors or works can be found in the following databases...

...and in the MERLIN catalog

See creative nonfiction, reportage literature, nonfiction noveltravel writing, food writing...
or look for works about an author by searching last name first, as a subject (not as an author!)

A Selection of Books

Essays are often labelled by what they discuss, not the fact that they are essays. However, a few call numbers are specifically reserved for essays:

American Essays: PS420-PS429 and PS680-PS689

English Essays: PR921-PR928 and PR1361-PR1369

These can both be found in 2 EAST.