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Tell It Slant, Third Edition, 3rd Edition by Suzanne Paola, Brenda Miller

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11

The Particular Challenges of Creative Nonfiction

But how, exactly, is the truth in nonfiction determined? How much of what is being told should be true? And who is the final arbiter of truth . . . ? The line between fiction and nonfiction is often debated, but is there a single dividing point or an all-encompassing truth a writer is supposed to tell?

—LEE GUTKIND

I’m writing an essay about my grandmother. I’m not sure why I’m writing this; there are just certain scenes and images that haunt me and I have to get them down on paper: my grandmother immobilized in a hospital bed, the ties of her hospital gown undone around her collarbone; my mother crying quietly in a restaurant as she tells me she can’t bring herself to care for her mother in ...

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