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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 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  103 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

Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 13th 2006 by Longman Publishing Group
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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.
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.
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.
Elisa Bratcher
This was my text book for Creative Writing Non-Fiction. It was wonderful and resourceful. I loved the Anthology provided as well as the advice. This is a well rounded start to writing non-fiction.
Yogadog Wendy
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.
Loree Burns
Now one of my all-time favorite nonfiction craft books. I particularly enjoyed the included essays and discussions. Wonderful! Inspiring!
For any beginning creative nonfiction writer, this book is chock full of motivation and ideas to get you started in the right direction.
May 15, 2007 Joanna rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Will teach this book for the first time this semester & expect it to be a great book in the classroom.

A thoughtful guide to writing creative nonfiction, with a lot of wonderful examples of the genre.
Excellent introduction to the basics of creative nonfiction with a superb anthology.
Arlene Walker
Great as a textbook for writing the personal essay.
Robin Hudson
For a creative non-fiction class
I read this book for school.
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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...
The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still, American Style The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction Between Panic and Desire The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers

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