Issue 32 / The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 1

32 / 2007

Creative Nonfiction scoured alternative publications, blogs, literary journals and other often-overlooked publications in search of new voices and innovative ideas for essays written with panache and power. In these works, writers explore the sport of competitive eating; ponder the identity of a mysterious woman who killed herself in a Seattle hotel room; undergo medical testing to see what the future might hold; follow a pack of wild dogs around Manhattan; and trace the migration of one of China’s first SARS victims during the “Era of Wild Flavor.” Editor Lee Gutkind writes, “Beneath the cover of The Best Creative Nonfiction is an unusual and unforgettable literary experience for readers, writers and bookstore browsers seeking a porthole into literature that makes a personal connection with the writer and captures real life with the power of cinema and the integrity of fact.”

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Fame and Obscurity and Our Search for the Best Creative Nonfiction

    In a volume entitled The Best Creative Nonfiction, you are probably expecting work by the literary giants—Annie Dillard, John McPhee, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion—but instead you get Sunshine O’Donnell, J.D. Schraffenberger, Eula Biss, Olivia Chia-lin Lee.
  • The Cipher in Room 214: Who Was Mary Anderson and Why Did She Die?

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  • Badlands: Portrait of a Competitive Eater

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  • Chores

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  • Cold Autumn

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  • Consumption

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  • The Pain Scale

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  • Full Gospel

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  • The Truth about Cops and Dogs

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  • Double Take

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  • Trapeze Lessons

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  • Notes on Frey

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  • Miles to Go Before We Sleep

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  • Job No. 51—Executive Director and Job No. 52—Psychic Medium

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  • Pimp

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  • The Woot Files

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  • Sleepy Head

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  • The Answer That Increasingly Appeals

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  • North Pole, South Pole, the Sea of Carcinoma

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  • Thirteen More Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

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  • What Is the Future of Diagnostic Medicine?

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  • Like a Complete Unknown

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  • 66 Signs That the Former Student Who Invited You to Dinner Is Trying to Seduce You

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  • Wild Flavor

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  • Notes on the Space We Take

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  • Tell Me Again Who Are You?

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  • ‘Mbriago

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  • My Mother’s Tongue

    When my mother tries to touch me, I flinch. I don’t like her to touch me at all, ever, and I don’t remember a time when we cuddled or hugged or she took me “uppy,” although it happened.

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