Partial List of Books Mentioned at NonfictioNow Conference in Flagstaff

November 3, 2015 § 3 Comments

Collated by Gila Lyons:

il_570xN.296615257For those who couldn’t make the NonfictioNow Conference in Flagstaff this past week, or for those of you too jetlagged, overwhelmed, altitude-sick, or introverted to get to everything you wanted to, don’t despair! Here’s a partial list of books and pieces mentioned by panelists and keynote speakers (partial = things I made it to). Please note, we’ve given Amazon links for books to make it easy to read summaries and reviews, but remember to support your local bookstore if you have one, or your library, or just raid your friends’ bookshelves instead!

Keynotes’ Recommendations:

Brian Doyle – In his impassioned keynote that implored writers to catch and tell stories, and reminded us that we have a moral imperative to “listen, live humbly, write, and not be an ass,” Brian Doyle reported that at a high school a student recently asked him, “If all your essays were to disappear except for two, which two would you keep?” Doyle answered, without hesitation and with great conviction, “‘Dawn And Mary‘, and ‘Leap.’ All my other pieces can go piss off.”

Maggie Nelson – In her keynote on the body in time, Maggie Nelson mentioned Hervé Guibert’s Mausoleum of Lovers: Journals 1976-1991 as well as his autobiographical novel To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life. She quoted from David Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration and referenced Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes and Body Undone: Living On After Great Pain by her mentor Christina Crosby. Clifford Chase’s The Tooth Fairy: Parents, Lovers, and Other Wayward Deities (A Memoir) and Wayne Koestenbaum’s My 1980s and Other Essays also got mentions. N.B. You can find six more of Nelson’s nonfiction picks here at Vela Mag.

Panelist’s Recommendations:

Michele Morano’s essay, “How to Cross A Street in Mumbai

Bernard Cooper’s essay, “Live Wire

Lawrence Sutin’s book, A Postcard Memoir

B..J. Hollars’ book, Dispatches from the Drownings: Reporting the Fiction of Nonfiction

Paisley Rekdal’s book, Intimate: An American Family Photo Album

Amy Leach’s book, Things That Are

The Making of a Poem, edited by Eavan Boland and Mark Strand.

Ander Monson’s essay, “I Have Been Thinking About Snow

Lia Purpura’s essay, “On Being a Trucker

Mark Doty’s essay, “Return to Sender” in the Touchstone Anthology o Contemporary Creative Nonfiction

Jon Robin Baitz’s play, Other Desert Cities

Michael Martone’s book, Michael Martone: Fictions

Peter Turchi’s book, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer

You can read more about the conference at the NonfictioNow blog, at Assay Journal, and at the Twitter handle #NFNOW15. Panelists and attendees, feel free to add your recommendations in the comments below!

Gila Lyons‘ work has appeared in Salon, The Rumpus, The Millions, GOOD Magazine, The Morning News, Ploughshares, Tablet, and other publications. She lives in Boston, where she teaches writing and is at work on a memoirLinks to published work can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @gilalyons


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