Creative Non-Fiction: Highs and Lows
How does a writer make a deep impression in a few pages? What makes a piece of writing engaging, memorable, and persuasive? In this workshop, we will read and examine three essays to identify the writerly tools used to make them powerful. To prepare, please read three short essays:
- Jamaica Kincaid, “Homemaking,” online, The New Yorker, October 16, 1995
- Jorge Luis Borges, “Borges and I,” online, also included in the collection Labyrinths
- Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook” – online, also included in the collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem
After you’ve read each essay, go back and mark your two favorite passages and your two least-favorite passages. Together, we’ll discuss participants’ choices to try to understand what makes these pieces work—or not work.
To be able to discuss others’ choices, and to look closely at different passages, please be sure to bring hard copies of the essays with you.