Archives de catégorie : Narrative Nonfiction

THE SEASON de Helen Garner

[Garner’s sharp eye, wit and warm humour bring the team and the season to life, as she documents this pivotal moment, both as part of the story and as silent witness. It’s a reflection on masculinity, on the nobility, grace and grit of team spirit and the game’s power to enthrall.

by Helen Garner
Text Publishing, August 2024

I pull up at the kerb. I love this park they train in. I must have walked the figure-of-eight around its ovals hundreds of times, at dawn, winter and summer, to throw the ball for Dozer, our red heeler, but he’s buried now, in the backyard, under the crepe myrtle near the chook pen.

The boy jumps out with his footy and trots away, bouncing it. Boy? Look at him. He’s five foot eleven. The last of my three grandkids. This year he’s in the Under 16s.

It’s footy [Australian football] season in Melbourne, and Helen Garner is following her grandson’s suburban team. She turns up not only at every game (give or take), but at every training session, shivering on the sidelines in the dark, fascinated by the spectacle.

She’s a passionate Western Bulldogs supporter (with a rather shaky grasp of the rules) and a great admirer of the players and the epic theatre of the game. But this is something more than that. It is a chance to connect with her youngest grandchild, to be close to him in his last moments as a child and in his headlong rush into manhood. To witness his triumphs and defeats, to fear for his safety in battle, to gasp and to cheer for the team as it fights its way towards the finals.

Helen Garner writes novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham–Campbell Prize for non-fiction. In 2019 she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. And in 2023 she was awarded the ASA Medal for her outstanding contribution to Australian literature. Her works include Monkey Grip, The Children’s Bach, The First Stone, The Spare Room, This House of Grief and three volumes of her diaries. She lives in Melbourne.

CAVE MOUNTAIN de Benjamin Hale

Benjamin Hale looks into his own family lore to tell the non-fiction stories of two young girls, the Arkansas wilderness, and the strange things that connect them.

by Benjamin Hale
Harper, Fall 2025
(via DeFiore & Company)

© Pete Mauney

Six-year-old Haley, Ben’s second cousin, was out for a hike with her grandparents when she became lost in the vast Arkansas wilderness. The child was lost for three days, and was the subject of an enormous manhunt, with regional media frenzy. She was ultimately found by two local men on mules, who ignored the common wisdom of police and the FBI which would never have led to the girl.

Days later, when calmly back in her parents’ arms, the girl told of the ‘friend’ who helped her find her way through the woods. An apparition clearly not real, but also real enough to show her the way to safety, tell stories with her, keep her calm.

Twenty years earlier, in the same remote spot in the wilderness, a local game warden was out hunting turkeys with a friend when they came across a group of people “acting kinda funny.”

He ran their plates and discovered there was a subpoena out for their arrest. The county sheriff arrived, the people were arrested, and soon the body of a young girl was found nearby, victim of a fundamentalist cult. The similarity between Haley’s description of the apparition, and the murdered girl, is unnerving and extraordinary.

Ben tells the story of both girls—the lost girl with the loving family, and the other who ends up a tragic sacrifice—and how their stories intersect. It’s a story about the arrogance of authority. It’s a story about nature and survival. It’s a story about police, and police corruption, and infighting within police and sheriff’s departments between corrupt and honest actors. Part of it is a courtroom drama. It’s a story about family. It’s a story about the South. It’s a story about religion, about skepticism and faith, getting lost and being found, sin and redemption. It’s ghost story. And it’s a detective story with several different detectives in it, including Benjamin Hale himself, researching the story, retracing the steps of the people involved and putting it all together.

Ben’s fiction has been called “an absolute pleasure,” (The New York Times) “a book to screech and howl about, [an] audacious first novel” (The Washington Post), and “a lively page-turner that asks the big questions head on… a noisy, audacious and promising debut.” His narrative non-fiction rises to the same storytelling level and will be a major dramatic and surprising book about family, faith, and redemption.

Benjamin Hale is the author of the novel The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore (Twelve, 2011) and the collection The Fat Artist and Other Stories (Simon & Schuster, 2016). He has received the Bard Fiction Prize, a Michener-Copernicus Award, and nominations for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. His writing (both fiction and nonfiction) has appeared, among other places, in Conjunctions, Harper’s Magazine, the Paris Review, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Dissent and the LA Review of Books Quarterly, and has been anthologized in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013. He is a senior editor of Conjunctions, teaches at Bard College, and lives in a small town in New York’s Hudson Valley.


A thought-provoking, supportive, and funny creativity journal that fosters creativity.

by Jenny Lawson
Penguin Life, Spring 2025
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Photo Credit: © Laura Mayes

BEAUTIFUL HACKS FOR BROKEN HEADS AND CREATIVE HEARTS is an inspiring self-help book for the rest of us—the ones who haven’t successfully stacked a tower of Atomic Habits or cultivated the 7 traits that would make us highly effective individuals. Now more than ever, readers crave a book that meets them where they are. And where they are just might be still in their pajamas at 2pm, unable to turn on their Zoom video, and feeling worse every time someone recommends yet another book outlining a 10-step plan they can’t muster up the enthusiasm or energy to read, much less conquer.

The question Jenny has heard most over the past decade is, “How?” How did you —struggling with depression, anxiety, ADD, chronic pain—manage to publish four bestsellers and open a successful bookstore (in April 2020, no less). Too often, people assume you must conquer your demons, cure your ills, and leave behind the brokenness completely before you can even begin to create your life’s work and succeed. Nothing could be further from the truth, and BEAUTIFUL HACKS FOR BROKEN HEADS AND CREATIVE HEARTS is the road map for this tribe.

Jenny Lawson has published four New York Times bestsellers, including Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy. She is the owner and proprietress of Nowhere Bookshop, a beloved independent bookstore and bar in San Antonio, Texas. She’s been writing her popular, award-winning blog ( for over 15 years and has a very large social media following on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Threads.

THE GRIEF CURE de Cody Delistraty

In this lyrical and moving story of the world of Prolonged Grief, journalist Cody Delistraty reflects on his experience with loss and explores what modern science, history, and literature reveal about the nature of our relationship to grief and our changing attitudes toward its cure.

by Cody Delistraty
HarperCollins, June 2024
(via Frances Goldin Literary Agency)

When Cody Delistraty lost his mother to cancer in his early 20s, he found himself unsure how to move forward. Planning for her recovery, he and his family had a purpose. But after she was gone, there seemed to exist only the empty advice on grief: move through the five stages, achieve closure, get back to work, go back to normal. So begins a journey into the new frontiers of grief, where Delistraty seeks out the researchers, technologists, therapists, marketers, and communities around the world looking to cure the pain of loss in novel ways. From the neuroscience of memory deletion to book prescriptions, laughter therapy, psilocybin, and Breakup Bootcamp, what ultimately emerges is not so much a cure as a fresh understanding of what living with grief truly means.

As Delistraty followed the blueprint of his own ad hoc treatment plan, the question of whether the most painful kind of grief can and should be cured had also been taken up by the American Psychiatry Association, as they recently gave extended, intense, disruptive grief an official name: Prolonged Grief Disorder. Stamping this kind of grief with a diagnosis has opened innovative avenues of treatment and an important conversation about a debilitating form of grief, but it also raises the question of whether grief, no matter how severe, is best treated medically at all?

Rigorously researched and beautifully written, The Grief Cure is a moving and eye-opening chronicle of a new diagnosis and a wide-ranging cultural history of grief of all sorts as a human rite. Braiding deep, emotional resonance with sharp research and historical insight, Delistraty places his own experience in dialogue with great writers and thinkers throughout history who have puzzled over this eternal question: how might we best face loss?

Cody Delistraty is the culture editor at The Wall Street Journal Magazine. He has written essays and criticism for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic and, while living in Paris for several years, he was the European arts columnist for The Paris Review. He has degrees in politics from New York University and history from the University of Oxford, where he graduated with a double distinction (first class). He and his work have been featured on WNYC, France 5 and Arté; British Vogue named him a best young writer of the year; and he has given corporate talks about tragedy, art, and creativity to companies like PwC.


Part coming-of-age story, part psychological thriller, part philosophical investigation, this unforgettable memoir traces the ramifications of a series of lies that threaten to derail the author’s life—exploring the line between truth and deception, fact and fiction, and reality and conspiracy.

A Memoir in Two Stories
by Sarah Viren
Scribner, June 2023
(via Frances Goldin Literary)

Sarah’s story begins as she’s researching what she believes will be a book about her high school philosophy teacher, a charismatic instructor who taught her and her classmates to question everything—in the end, even the reality of historical atrocities. As she digs into the effects of his teachings, her life takes a turn into the fantastical when her wife, Marta, is notified that she’s been investigated for sexual misconduct at the university where they both teach.
Based in part on a viral
New York Times essay, TO NAME THE BIGGER LIE follows the investigation as it upends Sarah’s understanding of truth. She knows the claims made against Marta must be lies, and as she uncovers the identity of the person behind them and then tries, with increasing desperation, to prove their innocence, she’s drawn back into the questions that her teacher inspired all those years ago: about the nature of truth, the value of skepticism, and the stakes we all have in getting the story right.
A compelling, incisive journey into honesty and betrayal, this memoir explores the powerful pull of dangerous conspiracy theories and the pliability of personal narratives in a world dominated by hoaxes and fakes. TO NAME THE BIGGER LIE reads like the best of psychological thrillers—made all the more riveting because it’s true.

« A thrilling, labyrinthine and ultimately illuminating reckoning with what it feels like to be caught up in a vortex of post-truth, conspiracy, and lies, Sarah Viren’s To Name the Bigger Lie is a fascinating and deeply disturbing account of our contemporary age of weaponized falsehoods… This is a memoir, yes, but it’s also a view into a terrifying aspect of modernity, and Viren’s ability to unspool complicated tangles for the reader is unparalleled. » —Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body

Sarah Viren is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of Mine. Sarah’s creative work has been supported by an NEA Fellowship and a Kerouac House Writing Residency, and her writing appears in the New York Times Magazine, Oxford American, Texas Monthly, and elsewhere. An assistant professor of creative nonfiction at ASU, she is a graduate of the Nonfiction Writing MFA at the University of Iowa.