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The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction
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The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  130 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This introduction to creative nonfiction examines the building blocks of nonfiction prose one by one, illustrating how individual voice and narrative strategies delineate this literary form from conventional nonfiction. Individual chapters are devoted to detail and description, characterization and scene, distinctive voice, intimate point-of-view, and the various ways in w ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 13th 2006 by Pearson
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There are some gems in this book. The selection and analysis of short essays is particularly strong. A tiny quibble: some of the terminology is odd -- "literary journalism essay"?? Overall, this is a useful book for those teaching creative nonfiction and my students appreciate its friendly tone and deep clarity.
Dec 11, 2012 Maggie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, pedagogy
Hands down, my favorite textbook for teaching Personal Essay or Creative Nonfiction. The writing instruction is sensible and not at all preachy, the exercises are useful, and the anthology is packed with a variety of readings. I would love to see an expanded and updated second edition someday, but in the meantime, I'll keep going back to this again and again. The one semester I didn't choose this for a Personal Essay class, I immediately regretted it.
Sep 21, 2015 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Not totally finished with this wonderful tome; yet, I am now aware of my instructor's reason for praising Dinty W. Moore's work.

This book not only cleared up for me some things I never understood, but he offers many pieces by other authors whose well thought out and expressed works are inspiring.

Apr 01, 2013 Angie rated it it was amazing
I am relatively new to creative nonfiction, so this book was a fantastic overview of the major sub-genres of creative nonfiction that I hope to play with a lot more in the future. The essays in the anthology were interesting reads as well.
May 15, 2007 Joanna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every Writer
The BEST craft of nonfiction book I've found. It actually addresses key issues, is built to help, and is written well.
Yogadog Wendy
Feb 01, 2013 Yogadog Wendy rated it it was amazing
Great book on craft, with examples in the anthology. Currently reading this for a class, but a good read for anyone who wants to write memoir or essay.
Arlene Walker
Apr 24, 2012 Arlene Walker rated it really liked it
Great as a textbook for writing the personal essay.
Jul 19, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic
A thoughtful guide to writing creative nonfiction, with a lot of wonderful examples of the genre.
Oct 14, 2014 Monique rated it really liked it
I read this book for school.
Jan 21, 2013 Priscilla rated it really liked it
Will teach this book for the first time this semester & expect it to be a great book in the classroom.

May 22, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
For any beginning creative nonfiction writer, this book is chock full of motivation and ideas to get you started in the right direction.
Robin Hudson
Aug 21, 2012 Robin Hudson rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
For a creative non-fiction class
Jan 27, 2008 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Excellent introduction to the basics of creative nonfiction with a superb anthology.
Loree Burns
Dec 30, 2010 Loree Burns rated it it was amazing
Now one of my all-time favorite nonfiction craft books. I particularly enjoyed the included essays and discussions. Wonderful! Inspiring!
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Dinty W. Moore is the author of numerous books, and has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse. He edits BREVITY, the journal of concise creative nonfiction ( and teaches at Ohio University.
More about Dinty W. Moore...

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