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Reading and Writing Literary Nonfiction
ENGL 147
Fall 2006
Section: 01  

Also known as "creative nonfiction," literary nonfiction has assumed a central position in recent writing. In it, the journalist, historian, or biographer appropriates techniques of fiction in order to endow the presentation of factual material with the ambiguity and expansiveness of art. In this course, students will choose early in the term a topic for what will become a twenty-page piece of literary nonfiction; will work on various drafts to develop it throughout the term as their major writing project; and will be required to keep a reporter's notebook. Our models are such masterworks of the genre as Michael Herr's DISPATCHES, Joan Didion's THE WHITE ALBUM, and Don DeLillo's LIBRA. Whether telling stories through their subjects' words or their own, each of the writers to be studied transcends the topicality of his or her material and addresses such matters as narrative perspective and the relationship of historical accuracy to truth. Each also confronts at least some of the same questions that writers in the course are likely to wrestle with: When in the writing of nonfiction does an informant become a character? When does sympathy with or antipathy to the informant distort a report? What obligations to the informant does the writer incur through his dependence on him or her?

Essential Capabilities: Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-14-2024
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