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Books about writing (narrative journalism) and the art world

November 9, 2010

I’ve just finished two good books. Telling True Stories is a compilation of writing about good writing and narrative journalism, a form that I’m particularly attracted to. It’s about in-depth stories of people and their lives, through observation and interview.

For instance, journalist Sonia Nazario followed a 12-year-old boy, Enrique, part of the way on a dangerous journey from Central American on top of trains (among other things) to reach his mother working in the States. She did this to illustrate the plight of thousands of migrant children who risk their lives to track down their mothers, who go in search of better employment. The book has some excellent advice and talks about things such as structure, plot, and writing processes. Much of it comes from a journalism stance.

The other book, in a similar vein to do with narrative non-fiction writing and sociological ways of looking at things, is Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton. She spent several years researching this book, which encapsulates the art world into seven days, or themes, including the Venice Beinele, The Basel Art Fair, A Christies Auction, and a visit to artist Takashi Murukami’s studio.

An engrossing read. I wanted to read this (I came across a review on it) because of the way she had written it and also because I enjoy reading about art.

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