Content Tagged ‘Norman Mailer’

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Perils of persona

December 12, 2013 | 11 Comments

Memoirist, skin thy own cat

October 5, 2012 | 14 Comments

Salman Rushdie on the novel’s debt to memoir, memoir’s debt to New Journalism—and why the novel is harder than either. The foment over Salman Rushdie’s new memoir led me in a roundabout way to interviews with him on YouTube. One of the best is the long talk above, recorded at Emory University, when he was in the midst of writing Joseph Anton—apparently he wrote some of it there—because he drills into memoir’s granular issues. I got the sense in this …

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The leverage of persona in memoir

March 18, 2012 | 22 Comments

Childhood tales by Jeannette Walls, Harry Crews & Annie Dillard Joining millions of others, I’ve now read Jeannette Walls’s memoir The Glass Castle. Walls wins the prize for modern memoir’s most dysfunctional family, edging out even Frank McCourt. Yet her damaged father inculcated Walls’s belief in herself—he made her feel special even as she wore filthy rags. And her equally neglectful but uniquely disordered mother banned self-pity and enshrined art of all kinds. Walls became a journalist, focused on celebrity …

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Dave Eggers on journalism’s virtues

May 3, 2010 | 2 Comments

Author Dave Eggers burst onto the literary scene with his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius; his latest book, Zeitoun, is about the Homeland Security/FEMA ordeal suffered by a Syrian-American immigrant and his family in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Eggers recently gave an interview to Jeff Gordinier for Creative Nonfiction (Spring 2010) in which he talked about the immersion journalism he undertook to report Zeitoun. He talked about the influence of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road …

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Norman Mailer on nonfiction

October 1, 2009 | One Comment

from an interview with the late writer Norman Mailer by J. Michael Lennon for Creating Nonfiction: A Guide and Anthology by Becky Bradway and Doug Hesse: “The form, the medium, determines the message. And the message you receive from a novel is different from the message—usually less interesting—that comes to you from nonfiction. Therefore, I like my nonfiction to read like a novel. By which I don’t mean that I fudge the facts. On the contrary, since I’m already out …

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