17 August 2012

An Accidental Nonfiction Writer

In the author's note to his new collection of essays, Magic Hours, Tom Bissell calls himself "an accidental nonfiction writer", and then says:
When I first started writing for magazines, I imagined that I would use nonfiction writing as a way to fund my fiction writing. This did not go exactly as planned. Insofar as I am known as anything today, it is as a nonfiction writer. Earlier in my career, I was neurotic enough to let this bother me. When I started out as a writer, I regarded fiction — novels, especially — as the supreme achievement of the human imagination. While I still hold fiction in very high regard, and continue to write it, I no longer believe in genre chauvinism. Life is difficult enough.

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