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A stranger's journey : race, identity, and narrative craft in writing

Author: David Mura
Publisher: Athens, Georgia : The University of Georgia Press, [2018]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : State or province government publication : English
Summary:
"Long recognized as a master teacher at writing programs like VONA, the Loft, and the Stonecoast MFA, with A Stranger's Journey, David Mura has written a book on creative writing that addresses our increasingly diverse American literature. Mura argues for a more inclusive and expansive definition of craft, particularly in relationship to race, even as he elucidates timeless rules of narrative construction in fiction  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Literature
Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Mura, David.
Stranger's journey.
Athens, Georgia : The University of Georgia Press, [2018]
(DLC) 2017058467
(OCoLC)1005895195
Material Type: Document, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: David Mura
ISBN: 9780820353456 0820353450
OCLC Number: 1112670923
Description: 1 online resource (262 pages)
Contents: Introduction --
I. The world is what it is. The search for identity: a stranger's journey --
The idealized portrait and the task of the writer --
Writing and reading race: Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Shawn Wong --
Existential threats: ZZ Packer's "Drinking coffee elsewhere" and Sherman Alexie's The toughest Indian in the world --
The student of color in the typical MFA program --
Writing teachers--or David Foster Wallace versus James Baldwin --
On race and craft: tradition and the individual talent revisited --
II. Story in fiction. Storytellers: myths and the timeless --
Discovery story --
Junot Díaz's "Ysrael": voice and story --
The storyteller of sadist (or Zuckerman's complaint) --
Pride cometh before the fall: Flannery O'Connor and ZZ Packer --
Irreconcilable conflicts, lies and character --
Destroying the imago of the protagonist: Sherman Alexie's "class" --
The A-B-C of multiple story lines: Junot Díaz's "Fiesta" --
The four questions concerning the narrator: From Conrad's Marlow to Díaz's Yunior --
III. Narrative and identity in memoir. The four questions of the narrator in memoir: Marguerite Duras's The lover and Mary Karr's The liar's club --
The past and present self in memoir: Vivian Gornick's Fierce attachments and Maxine Hong Kingston's The woman warrior --
Story and narrative structure in memoir --
Temporal narrative and identity in my memoirs --
The use of the reflective voice in memoir: James Baldwin and Hilton Als --
The reliability of the narrator in memoir --
Narrative drama in Mary Karr's Cherry and Garrett Hongo's Volcano --
On the line between memoir and fiction --
IV. The writer's story. V. S. Naipul: the known and the unknown --
The writer and the hero's journey --
Acknowledgments --
Appendix: Seven basic writing assignments. Assignment 1: some questions about process --
Assignment 2: exploring your identity --
Assignment 3: rewriting a scene --
Assignment 4: using a timeline to revise narrative structure --
Assignment 5: using the storyteller's principles--a basic checklist --
Assignment 6: write about the problem --
Assignment 7: finishing the book and hero's journey.
Other Titles: Race, identity, and narrative craft in writing
Responsibility: David Mura.

Abstract:

"Long recognized as a master teacher at writing programs like VONA, the Loft, and the Stonecoast MFA, with A Stranger's Journey, David Mura has written a book on creative writing that addresses our increasingly diverse American literature. Mura argues for a more inclusive and expansive definition of craft, particularly in relationship to race, even as he elucidates timeless rules of narrative construction in fiction and memoir. His essays offer technique-focused readings of writers such as Junot Díaz, ZZ Packer, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mary Karr, and Sherman Alexie, while making compelling connections to Mura's own life and work as a Japanese American writer. In A Stranger's Journey, Mura poses two central questions. The first involves identity: How is writing an exploration of who one is and one's place in the world? Mura examines how the myriad identities in our changing contemporary canon have led to new challenges regarding both craft and pedagogy. Here, like Toni Morrison's Playing in the Dark or Jeff Chang's Who We Be, A Stranger's Journey breaks new ground in our understanding of the relationship between the issues of race, literature, and culture. The book's second central question involves structure: How does one tell a story? Mura provides clear, insightful narrative tools that any writer may use, taking in techniques from fiction, screenplays, playwriting, and myth. Through this process, Mura candidly explores the newly evolved aesthetic principles of memoir and how questions of identity occupy a central place in contemporary memoir" --

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