Blurring the Boundaries: Explorations to the Fringes of Nonfiction

Blurring the Boundaries: Explorations to the Fringes of Nonfiction

Blurring the Boundaries: Explorations to the Fringes of Nonfiction

Blurring the Boundaries: Explorations to the Fringes of Nonfiction


Contemporary discussions on nonfiction are often riddled with questions about the boundaries between truth and memory, honesty and artifice, facts and lies.nbsp; Just how much truth is in nonfiction?nbsp; How much is a lie? Blurring the Boundaries sets out to answer such questions while simultaneously exploring the limits of the form.

This collection features twenty genre-bending essays from today's most renowned teachers and writers- including original work from Michael Martone, Marcia Aldrich, Dinty W. Moore, Lia Purpura, and Robin Hemley, among others. These essays experiment with structure, style, and subject matter, and each isnbsp;accompanied by the writer's personal reflection on the work itself, illuminating his or her struggles along the way. As these innovative writers stretch the limits of genre, they take us with them, offering readers a front-row seat to an ever-evolving form.

Readers also receive a practical approach to craft thanks to the unique writing exercises provided by the writers themselves. Part groundbreaking nonfiction collection, part writing reference, Blurring the Boundaries serves as the ideal book for literary lovers and practitioners of the craft.nbsp;


B.J. Hollars

This is a story I’ve been told for most of my life.

In the spring of 1964 my grandfather drove his wife and three children to the top of the Alps until they could drive no farther. Without warning, the road suddenly narrowed, steepened; finding himself trapped in a particularly unforgiving slice of terrain, my grandfather was forced to make a choice.

“The choice” (as it is now affectionately known to my family) was whether the thirty-eight-year-old husband and father of three would get them out of the jam by easing the car’s wheels forward along the edge of the mountainside or take the safer bet—reversing out from the direction he’d just come.

This is where the stories begin to diverge. According to my aunt—thirteen at the time, and the oldest of the children confined to the backseat—my grandfather pressed the automobile forward, though not before taking a few precautionary measures. The way she tells it, he handed over his wallet and insurance card to his wife, then waved her and the kids out of the car. The four watched as my grandfather’s hands manned the wheel, creeping the white Corvair across the narrow roadway, bypassing the drop-off by inches.

My mother, the youngest of the children, remembers it far differently. While she, too, recalls her father handing over the wallet and insurance card prior to shooing them all away, in her version my grandfather does not drive forward but rather begins the slow business of turning the car around.

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