How far are essayists allowed to bend the truth before they’re no longer writing nonfiction? In The Lifespan of a Fact (Norton) writer John D’Agata and fact-checker Jim Fingal go toe-to-toe over the veracity of D’Agata’s 2003 essay about a Las Vegas teen’s suicide and come up with a contentious, hilarious seven-year-long argument about D’Agata’s fudging and fabrications of people, places and things. What emerges is a fascinating (sometimes exacerbating) discussion about the relationship between “truth” and “fact” and “art” and about the obligations and inherent paradoxes of creative nonfiction.
About the Author: Gregory Brown
Gregory Brown, Reviews Editor, hails from Vancouver Island, in beautiful British Columbia. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro MFA program for Fiction and Memorial University of Newfoundland's Master of Arts program in English Literature. He is the recipient of the Roy Daniels Memorial Essay Prize and his fiction and criticism have appeared in Postcript and Paragon.