Originally published: 27.06.15
Back in April I drew your attention to a marvelous review by Janet Malcolm of the non-fiction work of Joseph Mitchell. In the course of the review Malcolm makes the startling revelation that his non-fiction is substantially enhanced by the (recently discovered) fictional additions.
Mitchell’s travels across the line that separates fiction and nonfiction are his singular feat. His impatience with the annoying, boring bits of actuality, his slashings through the underbrush of unreadable facticity, give his pieces their electric force, are why they’re so much more exciting to read than the work of other nonfiction writers of ambition.
Malcolm’s point also caught the attention of Catherine K Buni, a writer whose articles and essays have been published or anthologized by The Atlantic online, The New York Times, The Rumpus, Soul of the Sky, and The Writer, among others. Buni’s fascinating essay, ‘Pants on Fire: The Genre That Cannot Be Named‘, has been published on The Millions.
Read more Where does non-fiction end and fiction begin?