Shadow Boxing Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction

Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction by Kristen Iversen

Used in graduate and undergraduate classes around the country, Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction was the first text to cover all the major subgenres of the growing field of creative nonfiction: Memoir, Personal Essay, Literary Journalism, Nature Writing, Biography, History, and the Nonfiction Novel. This comprehensive text balances model readings with practical exercises to help students develop their own writing styles and experiment with the techniques and subject matter native to each facet of creative nonfiction.

“Iversen presents the first text to elucidate all major subgenres in the growing field of creative nonfiction . . . Iversen’s introductory chapter ‘When Is Nonfiction Not Creative’ is of particular use to those unfamiliar with the burgeoning field. Iversen discusses the difficult distinction between fiction and creative nonfiction in terms of the products of strict imagination and careful research . . . In contemporary sport boxing, shadow boxing refers to the exercise of sparring with an imaginary partner. In Chinese shadow boxing, the boxer spars with his or her own shadow ‘to attain the highest form and expression of the self’ (viii). Iversen’s extended metaphor applies to the process of sparring with institutions, colleagues, critics, students, and publishers and works well to accommodate the language required to teach and work in a postmodern and postcolonial climate.”

—Maggie D. Carstarphen, Texas A & M University

“The approach is systematic and useful, and the volume as a whole embodies a refreshing break from the anthologies and ‘guides’ currently in use.”

—David Lenoir, Western Kentucky University