I was of course part of the handful of people who did form a non-fic critique group. And let me tell you loud and clear, reading the group’s works was anything but boring. Quite the opposite. The pieces were interesting and made for a good deal of learning. From Christmas legends to war veteran’s stories, from a fun-column on political correctness to a member’s series of Encounters (that was the title of the series) with nature and animals, and from Native American traditions to humor columns, our group postings were what would be any reader’s delight. The subject matters were mostly informative, the writing style inviting, affectionate, perky or intimate, as need be. Rarely, if ever, was it didactic so as to turn off the general reader.
My own limited reading repertoire includes some fine works of nonfiction, and I have been left satisfied and enriched as I turned the last page of each one of them. I will use this space for discussing some of these brilliant (yes, they do deserve that qualification) works and their masterly authors.
My point? Nonfiction need not be drab, eye-straining tomes filled with dry information. Just like good fiction, well-written non-fic brings places, people, cultures, and events to life. And what’s more, it tells true stories. About real people.