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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays

"Chee takes on the impulse toward autobiography in fiction, and closely examines his own—he freely admits that his first novel, Edinburgh, was based on his own life. His writing is sharp and holds the kind of honesty achievable only through distance and introspection. These essays are like an ouroboros—a fitting metaphor, as ouroboros often symbolize the cycle of creation and destruction, and Chee writes from a place of never quite knowing what comes first."

Nathalie K.

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Author Alexander Chee
Publisher Mariner Books
Publication Date 2018-04-17
Section Essays / New Titles - Paperback / All Staff Suggestions / Non-Fiction Suggestions / Nathalie K.
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781328764522

From the author of The Queen of the Night, an essay collection exploring his education as a man, writer, and activist—and how we form our identities in life and in art.

As a novelist, Alexander Chee has been described as “masterful” by Roxane Gay, “incomparable” by Junot Díaz, and “incendiary” by the New York Times. With How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, his first collection of nonfiction, he’s sure to secure his place as one of the finest essayists of his generation as well.
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is the author’s manifesto on the entangling of life, literature, and politics, and how the lessons learned from a life spent reading and writing fiction have changed him. In these essays, he grows from student to teacher, reader to writer, and reckons with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, and a friend. He examines some of the most formative experiences of his life and the nation’s history, including his father’s death, the AIDS crisis, 9/11, the jobs that supported his writing—Tarot-reading, bookselling, cater-waiting for William F. Buckley—the writing of his first novel, Edinburgh, and the election of Donald Trump.
By turns commanding, heartbreaking, and wry, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel asks questions about how we create ourselves in life and in art, and how to fight when our dearest truths are under attack.

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