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Fourth Genre, The: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, 5th Edition

By Robert L. Root, Michael J. Steinberg

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jan 21, 2009


This best-selling anthology is a comprehensive and indispensable introduction to the way creative nonfiction is written today.


The Fourth Genre offers the most comprehensive, teachable, and current introduction available today to the cutting-edge, evolving genre of creative nonfiction.  While acknowledging the literary impulse of nonfiction to be a fourth genre equivalent to poetry, fiction, and drama, this text focuses on subgenres of the nonfiction form, including memoir, nature writing, personal essays, literary journalism, cultural criticism, and travel writing.


Table of Contents



Alternative Table of Contents: Subgenres of Creative Nonfiction


Preface: Beginning the Conversation


Introduction: Creative Nonfiction, The Fourth Genre


Part 1. Writing Creative NonfictionAngela M. Balcita. “Dumpling”

Jo Ann Beard. “Out There”

Robin Black. “The Answer That Increasingly Appeals”

Mary Clearman Blew. “The Unwanted Child”

* Lisa Groen Braner. “Soundtrack”

* John Calderazzo. “Lost on Colfax Avenue”

Shari Caudron. “Befriending Barbie”

Lisa D. Chavez. “Independence Day, Manley Hot Springs, Alaska”

* Steven Church. “I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part”

Judith Ortiz Cofer. “Silent Dancing”

Meghan Daum. “On the Fringes of the Physical World”

Annie Dillard. “Living Like Weasels”

* J. D. Dolan. “Pool, A Love Story”

* Matt Farwell. “Welcome to Afghanistan”

* Hillary Frank. “The Color of Monday”

Dagoberto Gilb. “Northeast Direct”

Adam Gopnick. “The People on the Bus”

Vivian Gornick. “On the Bus”

* Emily Gould. “The Death of the Personal Blog”

* Patricia Hampl. “Red Sky at Morning”

* Roger Hobbs. “Instant Message, Instant Girlfriend”

* Richard Hoffman. “Neighbors”

Pico Iyer. “Where Worlds Collide”

Jennifer Kahn. “Stripped for Parts”

Nicole Lamy. “Life in Motion”

Jonathan Lethem. “13,1977, 21”

Phillip Lopate. “Portrait of My Body”

* Nancy Lord. “I Met a Man Who Has Seen the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
and This Is What He Told Me”

Bret Lott. “Brothers”

* Jared Jacang Maher. “Listen to the Sounds of the House”

* Debra Marquart. “Some Things About That Day”

John McPhee. “The Search for Marvin Gardens”

* Tom Montgomery-Fate. “In Plain Sight”

* Michele Morano. “Grammar Lessons: The Subjunctive Mood”

Susan Orlean. “Lifelike”

* Michelle Otero. “Quinto Sol”

* Carol Paik. “A Few Things I Know About Softball”

* Kate Petersen. “To All Those Who Say Write What You Know”

Wendy Rawlings. “Virtually Romance: A Discourse on Love
in the Information Age”

Chet Raymo. “Celebrating Creation”

* Richard Rodriguez. “Disappointment”

Robert L. Root, Jr. “Knowing Where You’ve Been”

Scott Russell Sanders. “Cloud Crossing”

Mimi Schwartz. “My Father Always Said”

Michael Steinberg. “Chin Music”

* Kate Torgovnick. “How I Became a Bed-Maker”

Susan Allen Toth. “Going to the Movies” 

Erika Vidal. “Undressing Victoria”

Christine White. “Reflection Rag: Uncle Joe, Roberto Clemente and I”


Part Two. Talking About Creative Nonfiction  

Jocelyn Bartkevicius. “The Landscape of Nonfiction” 

Mary Clearman Blew. “The Art of Memoir” 

Annie Dillard. “To Fashion a Text”

Patricia Foster. “The Intelligent Heart”

Vivian Gornick. “A Narrator Leaps Past Journalism”

Patricia Hampl. “Memory and Imagination”

* Steven Harvey. “The Art of Self”

* Sonya Huber-Humes. “The Real Who, What, Where, Why of Journalism”

Tracy Kidder. “Courting the Approval of the Dead”  

* Judith Kitchen. “Mending Wall”

Phillip Lopate. “What Happened to the Personal Essay?”  

* Dustin Michael. “Advice to My Friend Beth’s Undergraduate Nonfiction Students”

* Brenda Miller. “ ‘Brenda Miller Has a Cold,’ or, How the Lyric Essay Happens”

Michael Pearson. “The Other Creative Writing”

Robert L. Root, Jr. “Collage, Montage, Mosaic,
Vignette, Episode, Segment”  

Scott Russell Sanders. “The Singular First Person” 

Mimi Schwartz. “Memoir? Fiction? Where’s The Line?” 

* Peggy Shumaker. “Prose Poems, Paragraphs, Brief Lyric Nonfiction”

Michael Steinberg. “Finding the Inner Story in Memoirs and Personal Essays”

Marianna Torgovnick. “Experimental Critical Writing”


Part Three. Composing Creative Nonfiction  

Emily Chase. “Warping Time with Montaigne”  

Emily Chase. “Notes from a Journey toward ‘Warping Time’”

Mary Elizabeth Pope. “Teacher Training”

Mary Elizabeth Pope. “Composing ‘Teacher Training’”

Maureen Stanton. “Zion”

Maureen Stanton. “On Writing ‘Zion’” 


Alternative Table of Contents: Approaches to Writing and Discussing Creative Nonfiction  


Notes on Authors  








* New to this Edition

Additional Course Materials

Literature: A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader, 3rd Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-156579-1

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