Günter Grass recently filed a lawsuit against Random House, whose German imprint Goldmann Verlag released in October an updated version of Michael Juerg’s 2002 biography of the Nobel Prize winner, Guenter Grass.
The release of three anthologies of creative nonfiction (or literary nonfiction or narrative nonfiction or whatever you choose to call it) proves that while difficult to label, there’s little challenge finding representative work for the so-called fourth genre.
On Wednesday, the family portrayed in Augusten Burroughs’s book Running With Scissors settled their lawsuit against the author and his publisher. The Turcotte family, with whom Burroughs lived as a teenager, filed suit two years ago seeking over $2 million in damages for defamation.
Greg Bottoms has demonstrated that the truth is rarely black and white in all three of his books of creative nonfiction, but never more vibrantly than in his latest, The Colorful Apocalypse.
Last year a total of 172,000 books were published in the United States. Although that number reflects a 10 percent decrease from the previous year, it's easy to see how any one book could get lost in the shuffle—especially if it's one among the many memoirs being published every season. With the idea that there's strength in numbers, four memoirists who published books earlier this year have joined forces to promote their titles, developing a community of like-minded authors—and fostering emerging writers—along the way.
Let me be the last—the absolute dead last—to point out that we're in the midst of a memoir craze. My favorite form of procrastination used to be computer solitaire, but now I prefer to chat on the phone with my writing friends and discuss the ongoing boom in autobiographical literature. We speculate like housing developers prognosticating on the real estate market. Will the bubble pop? Will prices continue to rise? Will market trends ever again veer toward literary fiction?