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Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye, 1st edition

  • Bich Minh Nguyen
  • Porter Shreve

Published by Pearson (July 15th 2004) - Copyright © 2005

1st edition


This anthology brings together 50 diverse works of contemporary creative nonfiction, from memoirs to personal essays to literary journalism, along with 15 craft essays.

Table of contents



The “I.”

The “Eye.”

The Idea of Truth.

The Use of Literary Elements.


The “I.”

Bernard Cooper, “Picking Plums.”

Tony Earley, “Somehow Form a Family.”

Lucy Grealy, “Mirrorings.”

Jamaica Kincaid, “Biography of a Dress.”

Le Thi Diem Thuy, “The Gangster We Are All Looking For.”

John Edgar Wideman, from Brothers and Keepers.

The “Eye.”

Beverly Lowry, “Secret Ceremonies of Love and Death.”

Susan Orlean, “Meet the Shaps.”

Tom Wolfe, “Yeager” from The Right Stuff.

Craft Essays.

Tracy Kidder, “Making the Truth Believable.”

Phillip Lopate, “On the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character.”

Scott Russell Sanders, “The Singular First Person.”


The “I.”

Judith Ortiz Cofer, “Silent Dancing.”

Edwidge Danticat, “Westbury Court.”

Stuart Dybek, “Field Trips.”

Chang-rae Lee, “Coming Home Again.”

Thomas Lynch, “The Undertaking.”

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Thank You in Arabic.”

The “Eye.”

John McPhee, “The Search for Marvin Gardens.”

James Alan McPherson, “Saturday Night, and Sunday Morning.”

Sarah Vowell, “What He Said There.”

Craft Essays.

André Aciman, “A Literary Pilgrim Progresses to the Past.”

Vivian Gornick, from The Situation and the Story.

Jonathan Raban, “Notes from the Road.”


The “I.”

Meghan Daum, “Music is My Bag.”

Dagoberto Gilb, “Steinbeck.”

Wayne Koestenbaum, “Me, with the Stars in My Eyes.”

David Sedaris, “The Drama Bug.”

Charles Simic, “The Necessity of Poetry.”

Susan Allen Toth, “Cinematypes: Going to the Movies.”

The “Eye.”

Saul Bellow, “Graven Images.”

Leslie Marmon Silko, “Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective.”

John Updike, “Fast Art.”

Bret Lott, “Against Technique.”

Patricia Hampl, “Reviewing Anne Frank.”

Craft Essays.

Cynthia Ozick, “Portrait of the Essay as a Warm Body.”


The “I.”

Gretel Ehrlich, “The Solace of Open Spaces.”

Edward Hoagland, “The Courage of Turtles.”

Linda Hogan, “The Bats.”

Richard McCann, “The Resurrectionist.”

Floyd Skloot, “Wild in the Woods: Confessions fo a Demented Man.”

Terry Tempest Williams, “The Clan of One-Breasted Women.”

The “Eye.”

Diane Ackerman, “The Psychopharmacology of Chocolate.”

Atul Gawande, “Final Cut.”

Stephen Jay Gould, “A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse.”

Craft Essays.

Annie Dillard, “Seeing.”

Barry Lopez, “Landscape and Narrative.”

Edward O. Wilson, “Life is a Narrative.”


The “I.”

Dorothy Allison, from Two or Three Things I Know for Sure.

Margaret Atwood, “The Female Body.”

Gerald Early, “Life With Daughters: Watching the Miss America Pageant.”

Maxine Hong Kingston, “No Name Woman.”

Bharati Mukherjee, “Two Ways to Belong in America.”

Alice Walker, “Becoming What We're Called.”

The “Eye.”

Lawrence Otis Graham, “Invisible Man.”

Michael Herr, “Illumination Rounds.”

Susan Sontag, from AIDS and Its Metaphors.

Craft Essays.

Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook.”

Barbara Ehrenreich, “Getting Ready” from Nickel-and-Dimed.

Lee Gutkind, “The Creative Nonfiction Police.”

Alternate Table of Contents: Creative Nonfiction Forms.

Appendix I: Writing Prompts.

Appendix II: Suggestions for Further Reading.

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