Literary Non-Fiction

Literary Non-Fiction

Understanding Literary Non-Fiction

  • Literary Non-Fiction is a genre of writing that uses literary techniques and artistic vision usually associated with fiction or poetry to report on actual persons, places, or events.
  • It combines factual reporting with a narrative and stylistic technique to present the facts in a more engaging or captivating manner.
  • It can include many types of texts, such as biographies, memoirs, travel writing, essays, speeches, and others.

Characteristics of Literary Non-Fiction

  • The defining characteristic of literary non-fiction is that it is factually accurate, yet uses the writer’s subjective perspective or personal experience to describe real-life situations.
  • The language used in this form of literature can often include detailed descriptions, rich imagery, and figurative or poetic language.
  • Material is presented in a narrative structure, integrating plot and character development, which can make it more compelling and relatable to the reader.

How to Analyse Literary Non-Fiction

  • When analysing literary non-fiction, look for the message or theme the author tries to convey. This can often be related to broader societal issues or human experiences.
  • Pay attention to the narrative style and how the author uses literary techniques to convey factual information.
  • Consider the author’s perspective or bias and how that impacts the presentation of facts or events.
  • Note how the author establishes a sense of time and place as this can be very integral to literary non-fiction.

Responding to Literary Non-Fiction

  • When responding to literary non-fiction, draw connections between the author’s personal experiences or perspective and the broader issues they discuss.
  • Discuss the effectiveness of the writer’s use of literary devices to convey their message.
  • Be prepared to question and critique the author’s perspective or argument, using evidence from the text to support your points.
  • Evaluate the overall impact of the text. Does it leave you more enlightened, empathetic or inspired?

Remember, practising how to analyse and respond to literary non-fiction will help you develop a holistic understanding of texts and empower you to engage more deeply with them. Keep reading and analysing a diverse range of literary non-fiction texts to enhance your skills.