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Editor's Notes One of the attractions of creative nonfiction is its flexibüity ofform. Annie DUlard says, "The essay can do everything a poem can do, and everything a short story can do—everything but fake it. It can also do everything a diary, a journal, a critical article, an editorial, a feature, a report can do." We know that literary journalists and memoirists use fictional devices such as plot, characterization, setting, and dialogue in order to more effectively render their subjects and shape their stories. But as DUlard suggests, this genre also gives writers permission to explore the more whimsical, nonrational twists and turns oftheir imaginations and psyches. Consequently, its writers often experiment with a variety ofstructures, ranging from chronological narratives and flashbacks to non-Unear, disjunctive, or associative strategies, such as montages, mosaics, and coUages. A measure of the genre's distinctiveness is, I believe, its tendency to blur boundaries—and to caU on a multitude ofliterary techniques. Writers know that finding the right image, metaphor, or other strategy can often be the catalyst for shaping a narrative into an aestheticaUy satisfying whole. Below, I'd Uke to highUght some of the different strategies that appear in this issue. "How to BearWitness," Nancy Lord's lead essay, is about visiting the dens of sleeping bears. It's written in the second person, and is deliberately structured as a series of suggested instructions—as if Lord were a tour guide preparing us for our own visit. Anna Monardo's "Ours or the Other Place" is a disjunctive memoir/travel essay that examines issues of place and identity by spanning several decades and jump-cutting between different locales. "The Queimada" by Michele Morano is a memory recollection that's focused on a native ritual the writer experienced in Oviedo, Spain. John D'Agata's "HaU ofFame ofUs/HaU ofFame of Them" are lyrical mini-essays written as disjunctive fragments, Uke lines ofpoetry. "Why I Played the Blues" by Richard TerriU is a straightforward rendering of some of the author's youthful experiences as a member of a blues band. "Oval" by Gaü Griffin takes three distinct objects and shapes and connects them imag- viFourth Genre isticaUy. George R. Clay's "Report from Paris" focuses on a singular, violent act that the writer once witnessed. "Light CaUing to Other Light" by Robert Vivian is a meditation written in segments, each one examining some aspect of the author's preoccupation with different kinds ofUght. "Final Exam" by Alvin Greenberg is a wry ironic piece that utilizes a series ofinvented exam questions designed to explore issues ofautobiography, meaning, and identity. Lisa D. Chavez's "Independence Day, Manley Hot Springs, Alaska" is a focused flashback that detaüs a chüdhood encounter with racism and prejudice . "The Mackerel Skies, the Salmon-Crowded Seas" byWiUiam Greenway is an internal narrative about the vagaries of freshwater fishing in Great Britain. Melanie Dylan Fox's "Nighthiking" is an extended reflection that was prompted by an end-of-season hike in Sequoia National Park. In "Boat Poor,"Alys Culhane begins with a description of a kayaking maneuver on a New Hampshire Lake and then flashes back to specific incidents and events that highlight her obsession with buying boats. Sydney Lea's "Architecture" describes the simpUcity of a Tuscan farmhouse and uses it as a way of examining his attraction to a specific kind of architecture. In "Lost" by EUzabeth Danson, the author describes chüdhood egg cups that in turn trigger a remembrance and reflection on family and place. Michaela CavaUaro's "Catalog" is a segmented essay that utilizes a variety of locations and incidents , aU ofwhich are related to her relationship with her father. "Saint Mary of Egypt—Who Had Been a Sinner" by Donna Perry is a humorous piece that uses a grade school assignment as a way of exploring chüdhood confusions about sex and reUgion. Steven Harvey's "The Big Scioty" is a disjunctive essay that begins with a walk in the southern mountain woods that the author takes with his two youngest chüdren. As they begin to lose their way, the piece opens up into a series of memory fragments about...


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