Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Keep it Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching & Writing Creative Nonfiction" - Lee Gutkind: editor

Just finished an interesting book on writing titled "Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching & Writing Creative Nonfiction".

It was edited by University of Pittsburgh English Professor Lee Gutkind... created as "the godfather of creative nonfiction" by Vanity Fair Magazine. While this description of Gutkind is a bit over the top, the book itself has a lot of interesting things in it for an aspiring writer (well, I guess for a writer of any kind given an aspiring writer is someone who doesn't yet know how to write).

The book is an incredibly fast read with many short chapters devoted to a specific how-to area of creative nonfiction, including fact-checking, memoir writing and point of view. I found it interesting in that I like the genre (populated by writers such as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Erik Larson and Jon Krakauer) and it made me want to learn and write more.

Gutkind himself is a prolific author and a list of books he's either written or edited can be found on this page of his blog. He's also the driving force behind the literary journal Creative Nonfiction, a magazine about and populated by this particular type of writing. Between some of these books and resources and the creative nonfiction classes (online and otherwise) that must be out there, there's definitely avenues to follow for someone interested to learn more and improve their writing (heck, just write) in this area.