Tuesday May 21

Robert Clark Young The pieces I’ve selected this month are emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually strong. As usual, I’ll allow them to speak for themselves, with only a few introductory remarks.

I was strongly affected by “Melk,”by Eddie Blatt. It is a Holocaust story. The Holocaust is of course a vast subject area, populated with millions of powerful and individual stories, most of which have never been told to the world at large. This is one such story, revealed to us for the first time.

“Dad,” by Jake Hudson, is a disturbing story of a different sort. Family dynamics are a favorite theme for creative nonfiction. In this case, the names of the author and the other family members have been changed at the author’s request.

Occasionally people ask me, “Why don’t you publish more [insert favorite genre here]?” Well, as a matter of fact, since taking over as Creative Nonfiction Editor in 2009, I have published a LOT of [insert favorite genre here].

Often, when people are talking about [insert favorite genre here], they are referring to experimental writing. In a sense, creative nonfiction, being a hybrid form, is always experimental. Creative nonfiction has its roots in narrative nonfiction, in memoir, in the personal essay, in the New Journalism of the early 1960s, in the “true life novels” of Truman Capote and Norman Mailer.

These varieties of experimental writing are liable to lead anywhere. But for those who want hardcore experimental creative nonfiction—enough adjectives there?—I’ve got an excellent selection this month, as notable for its readability and engagement as for being experimental.

And so please take a look at “Subterranean” by Cara Lopez Lee. You’ll have so much fun reading this piece that you’ll forget all about genre. In fact, you’ll forget pretty much everything else. Enjoy!