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Nonfiction

Page history last edited by Tamara Simons 6 years, 10 months ago

 

DEFINITION and DESCRIPTION 

 

     Nonfiction covers a wide variety of formats, including, essays, journals, narratives, aphorisms, sketches, dialogues, autobiographies, histories, biographies and diaries [6]. Besides a variety of formats, nonfiction can also encompass a great variety of subject areas.  Non-fiction is a genre that many people may overlook. Actually, the truth may interest you more than fiction. Many teenagers prefer reading nonfiction instead of fiction. Nonfiction doesn't get much recognition from educators because they believe teens would rather read fiction, not informational text. Many people don't think that a nonfiction work can be entertaining or interesting, but it can [2]. Some books that you may read in school that are non-fiction may be A Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, Night, by Elie Wiesel, or The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin. And don't forget those classroom textbooks.

     Sometimes non-fiction can seem like a misnomer. "Non-fiction is a representation of a fact. This presentation of information may be accurate or not; that is, it can give a true or a false account of the subject in a question."[1] All types of nonfiction are based on fact but they are sprinkled with the opinions of the authors. For example, a diary is a personal account of a person's life written by that person and , therefore, their story is told the way they see it, not including other perspectives of the same event. And so, nonfiction can include, in a way, a bit of fiction.

     Beatrice Sparks has written several nonfiction books based on the diaries of troubled teens. However, their authenticity has been questioned. The book Go Ask Alice written by Beatrice Sparks is reported to be false along with other stories that she has written about anonymous girls. An article from scopes.com says that this diary is fake- that she takes different incidents from her years as a counselor and writes about them. When Beatrice was asked face to face in an interview how she met these girls, she couldn't give an answer. Beatrice Sparks never gives the real names or any important information about these girls she claims she has spoken to or worked with. [3].

     Stephen Hawking, Truman Capote, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Beatrice Sparks are all well-known authors of nonfiction. Truman Capote has won several awards for his nonfiction works. Maya Angelou loves nonfiction because it's real. She takes incidents from her life and writes about them to inspire people and to make them aware so they won't do some of the same things that she has done [4].

     One of the most common types of nonfiction is a biography. This format was not recently developed; its history can be traced through the ages. Saints stories are considered the medieval ancestors of biographies. The legends of their accomplishments were the first to be recorded, probably because they were considered the most important. While honored for being the first, the saints biographies were labeled as primitive and they lacked qualities that would classify them as real biographies. A documentable history and a sense of individuality are characteristics of a true biography that those early accounts of saints lives were missing. In actuality, the word "biography" was not coined until the 1660s, despite the fact that people had been writing biographies for years. [5]

     Nonfiction is a broad genre and there are many awards to celebrate nonfiction authors' achievements. They are: the American Book Awards, the Audie Awards, the Black Caucus of ALA Literary Awards, the Boston Book Review Literary Award, the Bread Loaf Bakeless Prize, the Costa Book Awards, the Governor General's Literary Awards, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Lannan Literary Awards, the Minnesota Book Awards, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Reference and User Services Association Awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award [7].

 



                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 


 

 

Nonfiction authors

 

 


Sources

1.  "Non-fiction." Wikipedia. 11 Dec. 2009. 16 Dec. 2009. <http://wikipedia.org/wiki/nonfiction.>

2. Sullivan, Ed. "Some Teens Prefer the Real Thing: The Case for Young Adult Nonfiction." English Journal (2001): 43-47. Literary Reference Center. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.

3. Mickelson, Barbara. "Snopes.com: Go Ask Alice." Snopes.com. N.p., 1995. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.

4. Drew, Bernard A. "Table Of Contents." N.p.: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. N. pag.Google Books. Libraries Unlimited, 2008. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.

5. Altick, Richard D. "Literary Biography Before Its Time." Lives and Letters: A History of Literary Biography in England and America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969. 5-7. Print..

6. "The Art of Literature: Nonfictional Prose." The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed. Vol. 23. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010. 176-86. Print.

7. "Non-Fiction Awards - BookSpot.com." Non-Fiction Awards - BookSpot.com. Startspot Mediaworks, 2013. Web. 13 May 2013.

Comments (1)

Kaylee White said

at 9:54 am on Dec 6, 2016

For adventure, christian fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, horror, and nonfiction I suggest putting spaces between the paragraphs like with the other genres so the reader doesn't feel as overwhelmed with information and it will be easier for that reader to keep up with where they last left off reading.

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