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Title: Living to Tell the Tale: The Complicated Ethics of Creative Nonfiction
Author: Lynn Z. Bloom

Writers of creative nonfiction live-and die-by a single ethical standard, to render faithfully, as Joan Didion says in “On Keeping a Notebook,” “how it felt to me” (134), their understanding of both the literal and the larger Truth. That standard, and that alone, is the writer’s ethic of creative nonfiction. In contrast to the official story, creative nonfiction presents the unauthorized version, tales of personal and public life that are very likely subversive of the records and thus of the authority of the sanctioned tellers. Although one might ask, “Is it ethical to do so?” the only viable answer is, as it has always been for all writers, “It would be unethical not to do so.”

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