Essays

Creative nonfiction essays

Walking with an Essayist

It is gray and frigid outside. I have accomplished little at my desk. I have plans, when I return home, to draft an essay about love. So I want my walk around the lake to go quickly.

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Eco Next: The Mechanics of Hyperpraxis

Why—or more precisely, how—does a corset symbolize something very different when it is worn by Madonna than when it was worn by Victorian housewives?

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“You Call Those Nipples?”

You pour it all into a poem: your skeleton, your bile, your oozing primordial remnant—your private parts. To be told that the fundamental you is not up to snuff—that’s hard murder.

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Doing in the Great Pasha — plus a deleted scene from Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

One of the most difficult things about writing is self-editing. Not just revising and scrounging for the proper word, but eliminating description, exposition, and even whole scenes that fail to move things along.

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Five Alternatives to Throwing Your Penis at the Police (A Cautionary Tale)

Perhaps lofting your penis toward a cadre of the Windy City’s finest as they descend on your house is not an ideal defensive maneuver.

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Disney and the Erotic Art of Dying

Joe made plans earwhispering elsewhere with hands in her back bluejean
pockets finding his, his what?, what were we looking for afterall
those barlikely nights?

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Why Insomniacs Will Buy Anything from Anybody, Etc.

We’ll always shell out for the latest, greatest sleep aid, and we won’t count off ten sheep before rushing to do so.

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The Acumen for Survival and Advancement

A series of motifs in literature allows us to say, as a general principle as well as an experiential possibility, no one wants to be the younger brother. In folktales, the narrative perspective is generally either told from the point of view of the older brother, or else the younger brother is telling the tale […]

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A Beat in the House

The first time I met Allen Ginsberg he peed on my foot. But, that is not the only thing I remember about the vaunted poet of the “Beat Generation.”

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The Diploma Mill

America has reached its highest level of adult illiteracy in decades. Although I cannot speak for education in general, I do believe there are several reasons why we are experiencing a crisis at the college level.

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Driving Test Debacle

At the age of 35, I decided it was time I got my license.

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Truth in Memoir

James Frey gave the public what it was looking for, and was probably a little more subject to its whim than he realized.

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I Got Hoaxed by JT LeRoy

I’m one of the nobodies who thinks it’s pretty cool. I’m an insecure starfucker too, Laura/Speedy/JT. I got mine from you.

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Jumping for that Elusive Truth

Novelist Christian Bauman ponders the triumphs and tribulations of memoirists James Frey and Anthony Swofford and the lure of the publishing industry’s nonfiction fix

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Dead Sheep

One dead sheep in the middle of the trail could be anything. But two? This smacked of human agency. Or the supernatural.

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