The Great I Am: Understanding the Nonfiction Narrator
In nonfiction, who is the “I” being presented? How best can we develop that narrator? How many first-person narrators can live in one writer’s head? In an attempt to understand who your narrator really is, we will read and discuss excerpts by Philip Lopate, Mary Karr, Richard Rodriguez, Jamaica Kincaid, and others. Through discussion, generative writing, and instructor feedback, students will leave with 12–15 pages of writing that demonstrates a variety of narrators, all of whom are true.
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Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.