Welcome to The Real Story

The Real Story is a celebration of creative nonfiction. Not that there’s anything wrong with fiction. Look, we like making stuff up as much as anyone else does, but we’re more excited about the creative possibilities of telling the truth. We love true stories (and even mostly true stories), personal essays, memoirs, diaries, sketches and literary journalism. Reality is so much stranger than fiction. Tastes better, too.

Mrs Raffety by Danielle Peet

September 5, 2014
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Mrs Raffety by Danielle Peet

  Photo by Ian Turk via Flickr Short nonfiction from Danielle Peet: — She started as a whisper in a symphony. One of nine; the fifth. As the third girl she screams in the shadow of the other two. A further four survive after her. Twins are lost to diptheria; an ailment seeming to...

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Book Review: Any Other Mouth, by Anneliese Mackintosh

July 8, 2014
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Book Review: Any Other Mouth, by Anneliese Mackintosh

  Anneliese Mackintosh’s debut short story collection begins on an unnumbered page, obscured among the standard initial copyright & about the author pages. What I’m saying is that it’s a page you might miss, if you were a casual reader. It’s a page you don’t want to miss. Here’s what it says: 68% happened....

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Book Review: The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head, by Louis Begley

May 11, 2014
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Book Review: The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head, by Louis Begley

Franz Kafka is the modern template for ‘tortured genius.’ He once wrote that a book should be “an axe for the frozen sea within us.” Assuming, of course, that everyone has a frozen sea inside them…  In this biography, Louis Begley takes us deep into Kafka’s personal communication, his letters, his diaries, to show...

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Ninjas of Nonfiction #9: MFK Fisher

April 15, 2014
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Ninjas of Nonfiction #9: MFK Fisher

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was a nice, privately-educated girl from California. Then she went to Europe and her life took an unexpected direction: she became a foodie. I would argue that she became the first foodie, and that it is because of MFK Fisher that we have foodies at all. In her many collections...

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Skins by Sarah Handyside

March 14, 2014
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Skins by Sarah Handyside

This week, short nonfiction from Sarah Handyside. Image courtesy of the author. — Somewhere south a man asked us why clothes from dead Europeans end up in Africa. These clothes have a special name – the Swahili sounded like it had swallowed up the English tomb. He also asked for British opinions on witchcraft and...

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