Whether it’s memoir, travel narrative or personal essay, first-person nonfiction relies on the same techniques as fiction, including setting, story arcs, character development, dialogue, and so on. But we can deepen and add texture to nonfiction by incorporating other modes as well. This talk will focus on one of them: authorial reflection. We’ll look at techniques for creating an authorial persona who occasionally steps back from the narrative to examine its themes and meanings, as well as to assess the character the narrative calls “I.”
Tracy Seeley’s creative nonfiction has appeared in such journals as The Florida Review and Prairie Schooner, and her essay “Cartographies of Change” was a finalist for the Iowa Review nonfiction prize. Her memoir My Ruby Slippers: the Road Back to Kansas was published in March 2011, one of the “American Lives Series” from the University of Nebraska Press. She teaches literature and writing at the University of San Francisco, where she also co-directs the Center for Teaching Excellence.