This reading list features the five nonfiction nominees for the National Book Awards. The winner be announced on November 18, 2015.
Source: The Book To Read: Night Draws Near.
Source: Postscript: A Secret Society Shuts Its Doors
GOOD TO SEE YOU
Jessica Gross | Longreads | May 2015 | 17 minutes (4,223 words)
I first encountered the work of the memoirist, critic, and journalist Vivian Gornick in graduate school when we were assigned The Situation and the Story, her handbook on personal writing. Gornick explains that the writer must create out of her real self a separate narrative persona. The narrator has wisdom and distance the writer may not, and can craft a meaningful story out of the raw details of life. This slim book cracked open my understanding of what it means to write.
In Fierce Attachments, her 1987 memoir, Gornick wields her narrative persona to construct an incisive, nuanced portrait of her conflicted bond with her mother. She describes the Bronx tenements where she grew up, the early death of her father, the complex relationship with their neighbor Nettie and, at the center of it all, a…
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