Literary Journalism: A Biographical Dictionary of Writers and Editors

Literary Journalism: A Biographical Dictionary of Writers and Editors

Literary Journalism: A Biographical Dictionary of Writers and Editors

Literary Journalism: A Biographical Dictionary of Writers and Editors

Synopsis

Literary journalism, a specific type of "new" journalism, utilizes descriptive detail, realistic dialogue, and dramatic literary techniques to enliven nonfiction reporting. Features of literary journalism have been employed for centuries, and thus it is misleading to call it "new." The entries in this reference provide biographical information and critical commentary on literary journalists and editors ranging from Daniel Defoe to Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain to Truman Capote, Joseph Wambaugh, and Bill Moyers. Entries frequently include quotations that exemplify the critical response to the journalist's work, and the volume closes with a bibliography.

Excerpt

The so-called new journalism has been described by journalists and scholars as an umbrella term that encompasses several forms of journalism. Among those forms, literary journalism has been discussed perhaps more than any of the others. Literary journalism has been defined as a form of writing that combines the literary devices of fiction with the journalistic techniques of nonfiction. In short, the journalist applies the literary devices of fiction to an actual subject primarily to provide emotional and/or dramatic impact. A more in-depth discussion of new journalism and literary journalism is presented in the Introduction.

Literary journalism is several hundred years old. Indeed, in the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s some writers were producing what could be considered literary journalism, among them Joseph Addison, Daniel Defoe, Richard Steele, and Edward β€œNed” Ward in the 1700s; Charles Dickens, William Hazlitt, Lafcadio Hearn, Francis Parkman, Julian Ralph, and Mark Twain in the 1800s; and James Agee, Meyer Berger, Jimmy Breslin, Truman Capote, Michael Herr, John Hersey, Norman Mailer, Joe McGinniss, St. Clair McKelway, George Orwell, Rex Reed, Gay Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, and Tom Wolfe in the 1900s. Other practitioners of this form of journalism are mentioned in the Introduction.

This dictionary presents biographical sketches of the writers mentioned above as well as other writers who practiced literary journalism and editors who encouraged others to write literary journalism during the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s. Of course, readers may debate why certain writers and editors were included and others were not. Most, if not all, of those profiled in this dictionary have been identified by more than one source as literary journalists or as editors who encouraged literary journalism. Many of these sources are discussed in the Introduction. In addition, lists of writers and editors for potential inclusion were . . .

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