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August 15-31, 2005 Edition
Truth Is Stronger
Times Essay SaysNEW YORK, NY/8/7/2005—Nonfiction may be better suited than fiction to capture the complexities of today’s world, journalist Rachel Donadio writes in a New York Times essay August 7.
Donadio points to major magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, GQ and The Paris Review who are cutting back on their fictional content.
She quotes Esquire literary editor Adrianne Miller, who is also a novelist, as saying: ”We’re in a dark cultural moment. I think people seem to feel more comfortable with nonfiction,” said Adrienne Miller. ”The tragic theme here is that literary fiction has very limited cultural currency now. Fewer and fewer people seem to believe fiction is still essential for our emotional and intellectual survival. . .”
Later in the piece, Donadio writes, “And how, you may ask, can we be in a nonfiction moment when the latest installment in the Harry Potter series sold more than four million copies at the bookstore box office in its first weekend alone? Or when The Da Vinci Code has been on the best-seller list for almost two and a half years? One answer is that these are books as escape from the world. Fiction may still be one escape of choice—along with television and movies and video games and iPods— but when it comes to illuminating today’s world most vividly, nonfiction is winning.” Read the full story in the New York Times.
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