The Body of Brooklyn

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University of Iowa Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 179 pages
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Even before the controversy that surrounded the publication of A Million Little Pieces, the question of truth has been at the heart of memoir. From Elie Wiesel to Benjamin Wilkomirski to David Sedaris, the veracity of writers' claims has been suspect. In this fascinating and timely collection of essays, leading writers meditate on the subject of truth in literary nonfiction. As David Lazar writes in his introduction, "How do we verify? Do we care to? (Do we dare to eat the apple of knowledge and say it's true? Or is it a peach?) Do we choose to? Is it a subcategory of faith? How do you respond when someone says, 'This is really true'? Why do they choose to say it then?" The past and the truth are slippery things, and the art of non-fiction writing requires the writer to shape as well as explore. In personal essays, meditations on the nature of memory, considerations of the genres of memoir, prose poetry, essay, fiction, and film, the contributors to this provocative collection attempt to find answers to the question of what truth in nonfiction means. Contributors:  John D'Agata, Mark Doty, Su Friedrich, Joanna Frueh, Ray González, Vivian Gornick, Barbara Hammer, Kathryn Harrison, Marianne Hirsch, Wayne Koestenbaum, Leonard Kriegel, David Lazar, Alphonso Lingis, Paul Lisicky, Nancy Mairs, Nancy K. Miller, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Phyllis Rose, Oliver Sacks, David Shields, and Leo Spitzer.
 

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Contents

Introduction
xi
White Car
1
Melon Man
9
Memories of Christaphobia
16
The Body of Brooklyn
21
Distant Voice
62
Remembering John Waterman
66
Movies Are a Mother to Me
86
On Three Fraternal Aphorisms
98
Last Exit to Brooklyn
113
Season of Love
120
Rear Windows
123
My Little Heroes
127
Family Snaps
134
Toward a Photographic Mishnah
147
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

 David Lazar is the director of the nonfiction writing program at Columbia College Chicago, a professor in the Department of English, and the editor of Hotel Amerika. He is the author of Truth in Nonfiction (Iowa, 2008), Michael Powell: Interviews, Conversations with M. F. K. Fisher, and a book of prose poems, Powder Town. Four of his essays have been named Notable Essays of the Year by Best American Essays.

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