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The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers Of/On Creative Nonfiction

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  13 reviews

This best-selling anthology is a comprehensive and indispensable introduction to the way creative nonfiction is written today.

Paperback, 506 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Longman Publishing Group (first published August 31st 1998)
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Sheri Fresonke Harper
Great way to learn by good example. This collection of essays and memoir and how to articles offers many examples of the creative nonfiction article. Articles range from simple memories, to explanations of what happened when they started teaching to touching tales of human connection. The collection is easy to read, you can safely set it down and pick it up whenever you have time to read more. It also has several indexes so that you can find pieces according to different criteria. It's a well pu ...more
While the essays themselves are not consistently brilliant in my estimation, there are some creative non-fiction pieces here that are gems of their genre.

This is required reading in an MFA course I am taking in creative non-fiction, so technically a textbook. It serves its purpose well.

I met the editor Michael Steinberg back in 1998 when he was just starting his journal Fourth Genre, which led to the series of anthologies of which this is the latest. It was a crucial meeting for me at a time w
Cory Fosco
This was the first anthology of creative nonfiction I read. I bought the book as a requirement for an undergraduate level class, but used it in my graduate program and continue to use it as I teach at the community college level. The introductory essays about the craft are great. The essays included in this collection are all so very different (nature essays, segmented essays, literary journalism, memoir, personal essay) and are a great teaching/learning aide. Some of the essays also have additi ...more
Kate Savage
This book was such a bizarre grab-bag of essays. Some were spectacular and then I'd be in a long soporific tale of playing pool or hiking in Vermont. In the essays about the genre, you'd get Annie Dillard up next to what could have been an undergrad essay. I was very bored by the dry explanatory bits written by Root himself.

Read the compelation, because it's a great genre, and you will discover some marvellous writers. Just be prepared to skim past the unbearable bits.
This is the textbook I used in my first semester of grad school, which happened to be taught by Robert Root, the editor. I liked this text. It had many different styles of essays, but most interesting and helpful were the craft essays at the back written by authors of some of the essays that were included in the book.
I read this Text book cover to cover. I enjoyed every single essay. There were examples of every kind of Contemporary Creatative Nonfiction. I really appreciated the Alternatative Contents listings by the various subgenres. Memoir which is a new passion for me. I won't let this book out of my office!!
Sheri Fresonke Harper
I loved my copy of the Fourth Genre, it shares many examples of Creative Nonfiction that the student of the form can analyze and use to help develop their own skills. Form, grammar, reflection, nuance, voice, and style all come out in writing unique to the authors.
I still think the first edition of this book is the best. I've hung onto my copy, which has traveled with me from Boston to southern Mexico to Seattle, even as I've read each new edition and marveled at the rising price.
I'm currently reading this book and it's a great book if you are looking for examples of what personal essays, memoirs, and creative nonfiction really are. The stories are well written and entertaining. A good compliation.
If you're a writer of non-fiction you should definitely own this book. If you like reading non-fiction of any kind you'll thoroughly enjoy it.
Sep 13, 2008 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lacey
I read this book in high school, it contains many short stories and many of them were really interesting.
A collection of excellent examples of creative nonfiction, with essays on craft aspects of the work.
Great essays here. Very interesting and thought provoking. No slackers here.
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