The question was: Is there a such thing as literary non-fiction? If so, how do you define it? Examples?
My hesitance to answer this question wasn't based on categorizing non-fiction as literary. For me, a literary work shows a beautiful control of wording and a innovative story. Ok, I'm simplifying my qualifications for the word 'literary' but I'm going to ask you to forgive me. Back to the point I was making; of course literary non-fiction exists. I'm just not sure if I've read any literary non-fiction. Looking at the non fiction I've read this year, it hasn't been very diverse
Moab is My Washpot - Fry
American On Purpose - Ferguson
Running with Scissors - Burroughs
How Did You Get This Number - Crosley
Sleepwalk with Me - Birbigglia.
So, to break it down, that's three comedic memoirs, one generally funny memoir and a set of personal, and supposedly funny essays. Last year was no different. I think all I read was David Sedaris. But you can see that my foray into non fiction isn't usually for literary merit, but instead for a good laugh. I rarely read down the road to self help books, histories and general awesomeness that can be encompassed in non fiction. But with a category so vast as non fiction, I have to believe that at least some of it contains literary merit.
In other news-
Since finishing Persian Letters, I have a chance to actually catch up on things I want to be reading. I still have to work through Things Fall Apart for class, but I'm excited for it. It also feels like an even switch since I made my old roommate read my favorite non-American book last year (Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being) and this is one of her favorite books by a non-American author.
I'm also excited to finish rereading the above mentioned Unbearable Lightness of Being, as well as The Forgotten Garden, Stardust, The Virgin Widow and Starter For Ten. I think this is a good list to get me through Thanksgiving. What about you guys? Any big reading plans for the forthcoming holidays? Maybe a holiday favorite or a new release you can't wait for?