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True Crime Creative Nonfiction Issue

The most recent issue of Creative Nonfiction is all about true crime. “In this issue,” says Editor Lee Gutkind, “we have some pretty compelling, real-life, true crime essays: ‘Origami & the Art of Identity Folding,’ by AC Fraser, winner of CNF’s $1,000 ‘True Crime Essay Contest’ prize, takes us inside the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Fraser served time for identity theft. In ‘Grave Robber: A Love Story,’ Joyce Marcel recalls her 30s, when, having run away from an unhappy marriage, she supported her travels for several years by buying and selling and smuggling ancient ceramics from Peru.”

“‘Leviathan,’ by David McGlynn, is the story of a brutal triple-murder of the author’s close friend, age 15, and his brother and father, while ‘Addict,’ by Lacy M. Johnson, tells the mind-boggling story of how the writer’s ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and bolted her to a chair he built in a basement apartment. And that’s just in the beginning.”

“Finally, Steven Church’s ‘Speaking of Ears and Savagery’ is a sprawling discourse on Mike Tyson, Travis the Chimp, Van Gogh, David Lynch and more, exploring our conflicted relationship with brutality.”

“The rest of the issue circles around this same theme, exploring our fascination with true crime stories and tales of true violence. Harold Schechter, the author of many carefully researched true crime stories, starts off the issue with a long view of the true crime genre, which, he argues, dates almost as far back as type. In this issue’s Encounter, Donna Seaman talks with Erik Larson, author of ‘The Devil in the White City’ and ‘In the Garden of Beasts,’ about the work he puts into his meticulously researched best sellers. There’s also a thoughtful round-table discussion about the challenges of writing honestly—and ethically—about violence.”

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