Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft Creative Nonfiction, 1st edition

  • Kristen Iversen

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Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction is the first text to cover all of the major subgenres of this burgeoning field: the Memoir, the Personal Essay, Literary Journalism, Nature Writing, Biography and History, and the Nonfiction Novel. This comprehensive text balances model readings with practical exercises to help students develop their own writing styles and experiment with the techniques and subject matter native to each facet of creative nonfiction.

Each subgenre-specific chapter includes:
  • Readings by professional writers and students
  • Revision tips and strategies
  • Advice for students and instructors on ways to create an effective workshop environment.

Table of contents

(NOTE: Each chapter begins with an Introduction, and Model Readings with Discussion Questions and concludes with Writing Exercises, “The Writing Workshop,” and Revision Tips and Strategies.)



1. Memoir.

Excerpt from This Boy's Life, Tobias Wolff. Excerpt from The Liars' Club, Mary Karr. Excerpt from Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood, Judith Ortiz Cofer. Mother From Heaven, Jeanette Winterson. Student Readings. Lost at a Love-In, Eran Williams. Dancing Girls, Sharon Jackson. Chester, Cathy Patterson.

2. Personal Essay.

Thank You in Arabic, Naomi Shihab Nye. Texas Women: True Grit and All the Rest, Molly Ivins. The Stone Horse,Barry Lopez. Student Readings. Fifteen Minutes, Julie Lewis. Coming to Shelter, Joan Barnett. Waiting Is the Hardest Part, Kate Evans.

3. Literary Journalism.

Excerpt from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, Hunter S. Thompson. Excerpt from The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester. On AIDS, Susan Sontag. Excerpt from Coming Into the Country, John McPhee. Student Readings. All That Stands Between Me and Heaven Is My Husband's Fork, Anne Jennings. Are You My Mother? Shannon Rauwerda. Escape from Italy, or No Fear and Loathing in the Rome of the North, Ian Caton.

4. Nature Writing.

Excerpt from Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, Terry Tempest Williams. Excerpt from Accident: A Days News, Christa Wolf. Excerpt from The Solace of Open Spaces, Gretel Ehrlich. At Cloudy Pass: The Need of Being Versed in Human Things, Louise Owens. Student Readings. The Tolerable Naturalist, Melissa Edmunson. Naupaka In Bloom, Daphne K. Jenkins.

5. Biography and History.

The Devil and Ambrose Bierce, Jacob Silverstein. Excerpt from Son of the Morning Star, Evan Connell. In Search of History, Barbara Tuchman. Excerpt from Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, by Kristen Iversen. Student Readings. Rebecca Tucked Away, Robert James.Dear John Barry, Ellen Young.

6. The Nonfiction Novel.

Excerpt from In Cold Blood, Truman Capote. Excerpt from Cloudsplitter, Russell Banks. Excerpt from Becoming Madame Mao, Anchee Min. Excerpt from The Hours, Michael Cunningham. Student Readings. Rossiya East, Robert James. Talk Story, Shannon Rauwerda.


The Writing Life, Annie Dillard. So Long Ago, So Near, Richard Baush. On Keeping a Notebook, Joan Didion. Journal of a Solitude, May Sarton.


Published by Pearson (October 10th 2003) - Copyright © 2004