L.S. Klepp
August 22, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Kevin Kerrane, Ben Yagoda
genre
Nonfiction, Pop Culture

We gave it an A

Journalism becomes literature when it tells us not just what happened but what it was like. This far-flung and irresistible collection edited by Kevin Kerrane and Ben Yagoda, The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism, includes Stephen Crane on life among New York City derelicts; Joan Didion on L.A. when the lethal Santa Ana wind blows; Rosemary Mahoney on venturing into a lesbian bar in Dublin; what it’s like to be a legend (Lillian Ross on Hemingway) or a bearded lady (Joseph Mitchell on ”Lady Olga”). It even lets you know what sparring with Joe Louis was like (Jimmy Cannon on Billy Conn), but then the whole book is full of nonfiction knockouts. A

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