Just found a simply wonderful website called Creative Non-Fiction. It is dedicated to something after my own heart: short fiction that is based on life.
I’m reading short stories there that defy definition. They blend and bend genres in such a way that one cannot be sure whether one is reading a memoir, an essay, a piece of journalism, a philosophical tract or a story.
Here are some examples:
- Meander by Mary Paumier Jones. This delightful piece is written in a smooth style that initially seems like an essay on the meaning of the word ‘meander’, and over its (oft (intentionally) meandering) course, it delivers on this promise. But within the bounds of this we are treated to stories, metaphors, imagery, philosophy and more than a hint of the feeling that we are being cared for and gently humoured by a sweet and intelligent human mind. It’s a lovely experience to read this piece and to come away with the feeling that we have transgressed, in such a such a benevolent way, the laws of all that writing involves; and returned with a smile on our face.
- The Heart by Jerald Walker. As I read the title again after chugging down this tale, I automatically completed it. The heart wants what the heart wants. There’s nothing like love to make people do what their minds scream a protest to. A man loves his heroin-addicted wife despite .. well, you’ll have to read the story to find the despites. This is fiction, but it reads like fiction. There’s an opening scene that’s vivid with imagery. That scene contains a question that begs to be answered. Why? Why did she do that and what will he do about it. The structure is event, why did that happen and what will happen next. Classic. You need to read this to believe how closely it follows the strictures of fiction. It’s smoothly-written, compelling, informative and deeply convincing on a psychological level. The characters and fully realised. The dialogue is real. The plot is nicely developed. The link is provided above. Read it.
- Bear Fragments by Christine Byl. This is a list. There are seven items on the list. Each is (as the title tells us) a fragement. A bear fragment. Taken together they make up a bear. Or a story of a bear. Or maybe the things the author knows or found about bears. They are anecdotes. There’s a part of me that wants to say that they don’t make sense, but there another part that stands back a little further and looks at this collection of dots and makes a picture out of them. A story. This part is happy with the story and can close off this piece with a satisfied smile. If’n you want to know more then read the story. It’s creative and it’s non-fiction and it’s as innovative as heck. Nuff said.