I remember many years ago reading this passage from Muriel Spark’s A Far Cry from Kensington: If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work … the cat will invariably get up…

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It can be easy in these days of doubtful facts, deliberate deceit, and dubious truth, to worry about the value of storytelling. Our politicians threaten narrative; our fractured world can do the same. Even when it comes to the writing of creative nonfiction—that genre that deals in facts—we may be tempted to question the value…

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I have a small iron hammer, threaded at its end, that belonged to my father. Someone, although I don’t know who, made this hammer and threaded it to screw into the end of one of the hard plastic holsters where my father’s hooks usually fit. This way, my father, who’d lost both of his hands…

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I’m teaching a creative nonfiction workshop this semester for people who, for the most part, have never worked in the genre. I remember my own first steps into memoir. I had my first tenure-track teaching position, and I had to teach a graduate level cnf workshop. At that point, I’d published my first book of…

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