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Author Becky Bradway Presents Wolf Lecture

October 10, 2003

Author and college professor Becky Bradway, along with her husband, Doug Hesse, spoke on the topic of creative nonfiction at convocation on October 9 at Mount Union College. Bradway and Hesse, who is also a college professor, presented the Wolf Lecture later that evening.

 

After an introduction by Dr. Kelly Lowe, associate professor of English at Mount Union College, Hesse provided a historical background on creative nonfiction. He talked about Library of Congress classifications concerning literature. "The lines are blurry when it comes to classifications. One book's subject matter can fall under more than one category," he said. He asked the question, where does creative nonfiction belong?

Creative nonfiction, sometimes referred to as literary nonfiction, encompasses memoirs, autobiographies, personal essays, new journalism and travel writing. Hesse noted that it is based in reality, written in first person with the writer telling about self through stories and using innovative language. Creative nonfiction allows individuals to share their life with the world and show the distinctive way that they see things.

Bradway used a PowerPoint presentation to supplement her points. She talked about the different authors who write creative nonfiction. She included Joan Didion, Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson in this group of writers. She urged the audience to "find and read books that are creative nonfiction."

Bradway is a prolific essayist and author. Her books Pink Houses, Family Taverns and In the Middle of the Middle West were both published by Indiana University Press in 2002 and 2003 respectively. She has written for nearly 40 anthologies. Indiana University Press will also publish her upcoming book, Fishing for Polyester. She and Hesse are both professors at Illinois State University.

The Eleanor Mincks Wolf Lecture was established by John L. Wolf in memory of his wife, Eleanor. A 1939 graduate of Mount Union College, she was a former teacher of English and Latin in Richfield and Highland school districts.

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