Literary Selves: Autobiography and Contemporary American Nonfiction


Departing from previous discussions of literary nonfiction in terms of its being literature or journalism, this new study treats literary nonfiction as autobiography, examining a large body of work in terms of autobiographical theory. The collected works of six very different prominent literary journalists--John McPhee, Joe McGinniss, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, and Norman Mailer--are analyzed from literary, autobiographical, and cultural perspectives. Author James Stull explains how the complex, fully-rounded psychological and social self is crystalized in these works into a more encompassing statement of self-identification, which he calls a "metaphor of self," a distinctive way an author presents a self and its world. Numerous other writers and critics are brought into the discussion, and the author provides an extensive reference bibliography.

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