July 17, 2018 by The Citron Review
As a student in a creative nonfiction track of an MFA program, I floundered, as many of us did, to find the story that I wanted to tell. But it really happened, I’d say about my pieces, it happened just like that. Sorry, I’m not feeling it yet, my mentors would say about my pieces.
Again and again, my mentors extolled the praises of The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative by Vivian Gornick. It’s a classic, they said. You must read it.
Eventually, I read the book, finally learning: We all have situations in our lives, circumstances we either cause or, perhaps, fall victim to. But, the story… the story is what we make of what happens to us. The story is how we, as writers, shape what happened to us, how we give it form, structure, an organizing principle, and, most of all, meaning.
With our Summer 2018 issue, my co-editor, Zach Jacobs, and I offer you six different pieces by writers who have shaped their memories and experiences through their use of point of view, collages of form, crisp dialogue, vivid imagery, distinct voice, verb tense, and varied sentence structure, to name a few of the tools in their literary toolboxes.
And so, with a glass of iced peach tea in my hand, I raise a toast to the wisdom of Vivian Gornick, to all of our authors this month who have shaped their situations into a story, and to all of us committed to keep working on ours.
Marianne Woods Cirone
The Citron Review