Saturday, July 20, 2013

Eastern Canada joins the Creative Nonfiction Revolution

It’s a revolutionary milestone. Two weeks from now, on August 4, 2013, the University of King’s College in Halifax will launch Canada’s first master’s degree program in Creative Nonfiction (CNF). This two-year, limited residency program is designed to help emerging writers turn nonfiction manuscripts into published books. Our Hero is thrilled to be one of the first mentors. Until now, all the energy and fight have come out of western Canada, led by pioneering writers at the universities of British Columbia and Victoria. The Creative Nonfiction Collective holds its annual conference in Alberta. And the only literary festival devoted to CNF is Edmonton’s Litfest. This new MFA program plants a first flag in the East. Overnight, the invisible crusade becomes a national movement. What? What crusade? Why,
the one bent on overthrowing the prevailing orthodoxy, and specifically the notion that in the world of books, Fiction constitutes the Heavyweight Division and the literary novel is the Main Event. In the international arena, no less a figure than Nobel Prize-winner V.S. Naipaul has insisted repeatedly that nonfiction can be just as "literary" as fiction -- just as imaginative, just as important, just as profound. Wait. What’s that sound? Is that . . . is that the marching song out of Les Miserables.

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