Slippery Nonfiction


Nonfiction, simply put, is anything that isn't fiction. Easy enough, right? However, in recent years, several controversies have arisen as supposed factual memoirs are revealed to be nothing but a string of exaggerations or, well, fiction. But how well does any nonfiction writer capture "The Truth?" Numerous psychological studies have shown that if multiple people witness the same event, it's possible for all of them to walk away with very different stories of what happened. Edward McPherson, essayist and assistant professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, explores truth and memory in nonfiction. We also discuss how a place's identity can be shaped by fiction as easily as reality in his essay, "Dallas: From Afar."