What are some examples of creative nonfiction?

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I like the David Sedaris suggestion above, but would also suggest A Year of Magical Thinking or Miami or After Henry by Joan Didion, one of the best known essayists in American Letters.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin also comes to mind as well as Henry Miller's Stand Still Like a Butterfly.

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My students love stuff by David Sedaris.  He is writing about his childhood and his life, but his tone and storytelling is captivating and funny. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a good introduction to his subject and style.  I find that if I share even one vignette I will have students who want to borrow my copy of the book.

 

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There are a lot of historical fiction books that are very close to being accurate.  There are also a lot of nonfiction books that read like stories.  Most autobiographies and biographies border on the creative nonfiction, if they are good.

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James A. Michener authored a number of fictional books with very extensive factual bases. Think of Centennial, Chesapeake, Texas. Leon Uris wrote Exodus, Armeggadon, The Haj using a similar combination. I think of these as being somewhere between fiction and nonfiction - it's easy to get an excellent understanding of actual events by reading these works.

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Irving Stone's biographies mix creative dialogues into the accounts of famous people's lives.  For instance, Origin, which relates the experiences of Charles Darwin also includes dialogues that are probably fictionalized.  His The Agony and the Ecstacy recounts the demand that Michaelangelo paint the Sisteine Chapel made by Pope Leo.  This, too, has fictionalized dialogues.

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Anything written by Alison Weir: The Wars of the Roses, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Children of Henry VIII, and several others. She has a narrative style that makes her nonfiction read like novels. If you enjoy reading about English history, you'll love her books.

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Truman Capote's groundsbreaking novel, In Cold Blood (1965) is a good example. He labeled it a "nonfiction novel," blending the styles of nonfiction, fiction, journalism and documentary into a chilling tale of the Clutter murders in Kansas.

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