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ERIC Number: ED432767
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Intermingling Fact and Fiction: Catalyst or Catastrophe?
Zarnowski, Myra
The current trend in adult nonfiction is to incorporate greater and greater amounts of fiction into what is marketed as nonfiction. This trend is mirrored in today's nonfiction for children. Sometimes fictional characters are introduced and their stories are meant to serve as a vehicle for keeping the young reader's interest; sometimes stretches of undocumented dialogue are included; sometimes liberties are taken with chronology. An idea that frequently emerges during discussions of fictionalizing is that fiction somehow provides a "higher truth" that can only be achieved when writers are not constrained by facts. A different way of seeing the changes in nonfiction is as a catalyst, as a means of deepening a reader's understanding of information. Even when telling the truth, authors can use storytelling notions. Rhoda Blumberg's "What's the Deal? Jefferson, Napoleon, and the Louisiana Purchase" (1998) taps the reader's understanding of the well formed story by providing five scenarios which could have happened but did not, and similarly, in "Joan of Arc" (1998), Diane Stanley uses the power of story to ask readers to imagine what it was like living during the Hundred Years' War. In evaluating the changes in nonfiction for children it has to be determined whether intermingling fact and fiction is a catalyst or a catastrophe. (Cites 5 children's books and contains 16 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A