The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
New Edition for Writers, Teachers, and Students.All narrative writing must pull from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver a bit of wisdom. In a story or a novel the "I" who tells this tale can be, and often is, an unreliable narrator, but in... show more
New Edition for Writers, Teachers, and Students.All narrative writing must pull from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver a bit of wisdom. In a story or a novel the "I" who tells this tale can be, and often is, an unreliable narrator, but in nonfiction the reader must always be persuaded that the narrator is speaking truth. How does one pull from one's own boring, agitated self the truth-speaker who will tell the story a personal narrative needs to tell? That is the question The Situation and the Story asks and answers. Taking us on a reading tour of some of the best memoirs and essays of the past hundred years, Gornick traces the changing idea of self that has dominated the century, and demonstrates the enduring truth-speaker to be found in the work of writers as diverse as Edmund Gosse, Joan Didion, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, and Marguerite Duras. This book, which grew out of fifteen years teaching in M.F.A. programs and won instant acclaim from writing teachers across the country shows us how to write by showing us how to read: how to recognize truth when we hear it in the writing of others and in our own. The paperback edition includes a new guide for writers, teachers, and students, with exercises, discussion topics, and suggestions for further reading. Vivian Gornick's books include Fierce Attachments, Approaching Eye Level, and The End of the Novel of Love, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1998. She lives in New York.
Publish date: October 11th 2002
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages no: 184
Edition language: English
Vivian Gornick's book on the art of essay writing was bound to get good marks from me, if only for its extensive drawing of examples from famous books and essays. Criticism — as compared to reviews — is a singularly rewarding experience, especially in the hands of a good writer such as Gornick. It...
One book was required and one book was recommended for the eight week class I’m taking this summer on writing personal narratives. This was the recommended book. I read it and a Western on the plane ride from Houston to Salt Lake. A quick read.Not sure I took much away from this book. Did I miss som...