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Kept Secret: The Half-Truth in Nonfiction
edited by Jen Hirt and Tina Mitchell
Michigan State University Press, 2017
eISBN: 978-1-62895-299-5 | Paper: 978-1-61186-247-8
Library of Congress Classification PS689.K47 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 814.6

Creative nonfiction writers wrestle constantly with the boundaries of creative license—what to reveal, when to reveal it, and how best to do it. While the truth may inspire us to make confident assertions, secrets, lies, and half-truths inspire us to delve further into our own writing to discover the heart of the story. The pieces in this collection feature essayists who do this type of detective work. Each essay contains a secret, lie, or half-truth—some of these are revealed by the author, but others remain buried. Ranging from the deep family secret to the little white lie, from the shocking to the humorous, and from the straightforward revelation to the slanted half-truth, these essays ask us to appreciate the magnitude of keeping a secret. They also ask us to consider the obstacles writers must overcome if they want to write about secrets in their own lives and the lives of others. In short interviews following each essay the contributors discuss craft, ethics, creativity, and how they eventually decided to reveal—or not reveal—a secret.

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